PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s continuous appointment of former MMD officials is a vindication that the ruling party has been swallowed by the former ruling party, says MMD national executive committee member Peter Phiri.
And Phiri says the PF government is implementing policies that it castigated when it was in opposition.
Commenting on the appointment of Joe Malanji as foreign affairs minister, Phiri noted that the Kwacha member of parliament was a former MMD official who worked closely with president Rupiah Banda.
“Ambassador Joe Malanji is an international golf administrator and a former MMD member who worked closely with Rupiah Banda. Joe Malanji is the one that was tasked to undertake errands on behalf of president Rupiah Banda. And personally, I have no doubt that he is going to perform to the expectations of the Zambian people,” Phiri said. “But it should also be noted that MMD members are now in charge of key ministerial positions in the PF government. The ministries of finance, local government, agriculture and foreign affairs are all being run by individuals from the MMD. And President Edgar Lungu’s continuous appointment of former MMD officials is a vindication that the ruling Patriotic Front has been swallowed by the former ruling party MMD.”
He further stated that the PF government was implementing policies that it castigated when it was in opposition.
“When the PF was in the opposition, they used to condemn and castigate the MMD for implementing certain policies. One such policy is the Public Private Partnership (PPP), which the PF condemned,” Phiri said. “But today we have seen the PF government advocating for the PPP in the construction of the Kazungula border post and the Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula airport, among other projects.”
Meanwhile, Phiri asked the government to account for the billions of dollars it had been borrowing. He observed that in the recent past, the PF government had engaged in internal and external debt contraction, hence the need for the Ministry of Finance to give an account of how such funds were being utilised.
Phiri said citizens must hold political leaders accountable in the discharge of their duties.
“In the past few years, we have seen the PF government contracting debt. These debts, which are in billions of dollars, have been contracted externally and internally on behalf of the Zambian people,” he explained. “Dr Nevers Mumba [MMD leader] had asked the PF government to give an account of how these funds have been used. So even at this juncture, it would be prudent for the PF finance minister Felix Mutati to tell the nation how these billions of dollars have been utilised so that people can stop accusing the current PF government of engaging in fraudulent and corrupt activities. People have been asking how some people serving in the PF government are amassing wealth and building mansions in different localities, so citizens have the right to hold these individuals serving in government accountable.”
And Phiri stated that the unfolding events regarding mukula trade were clear indications that corruption was now embedded in the Zambian society. He said the recent mukula saga where some PF youths impounded truck loads of mukula destined for export was a tug of war that involved individuals that were illegally trading in mukula and those that were legally dealing in the business.
“But it is unfortunate that even government was found in this tug of war. And the recent mukula saga and the subsequent unfolding events only go to show that corruption is deeply rooted in the Zambian society,” said Phiri. “So there’s need to put in place a stringent legal framework through an Act of parliament so that we bring sanity in the buying and selling of mukula tree. There’s need to put the buying and selling of mukula in the government hands instead of leaving such a responsibility to private individuals. What we are saying is that, since mukula export has proved to be a lucrative business, there’s need to regulate this business just like is the case with copper export.”