CHISHIMBA Kambwili has pleaded with Zambians not to downplay the magnitude of corruption and elicit deals happening at State House.
Narrating how a named State House officer swindled a Chinese contractor of $2 million, Kambwili said President Edgar Lungu had no integrity.
Speaking on 5FM radio yesterday, Kambwili said the depth of corruption at State House was a shock and awe activity, which Zambians should not ignore.
“People of Zambia, when I talk about this corruption, please don’t take it lightly…you will be so shocked that out of the $15 billion that we have borrowed for the so called infrastructure development, 40 per cent has gone into people’s pockets. Can you imagine country men and women, one Chinese came to me because he heard me talking about corruption and he said Honourable you are right, this government is corrupt, State House in particular and he told me a story that up to now I feel so bad,” Kambwili said.
“This man is vulnerable, he cannot go to court, he cannot fight State House…one man at State House approached this Chinese man because there was a tender at Zesco where this man (Chinese) quoted $13 million, this company for that tender but was approached by a man from State House and said I have been sent by the President and I am representing State House. We are going to give you this contract so put it at $15 million and you will give us the $2 million on top, which you should give us in advance, we are State House and we are going to make sure that this contract is given to you’. The poor Chinese got the $2 million and gave them but when they opened the tender, it was given to somebody else and in the meantime the money was already eaten.
Kambwili also condemned the idea of branding mealie-meal in the names of President Lungu and his presidential affairs minister Freedom Sikazwe.
“If you want to help the poor, why do you want to give mealie-meal, which is branded with your name that it was donated by Honourable Chite chite, helping the needy in society? Namukwata nempiya yakuya muku printisha amasaka [you even have money to brand sacks) in individual names,” he said.
“If they want to take me on, they should take me on, call them to come and defend themselves just like you invited me, and you can invite them I have every fact on this $15 million deal. And whoever I am talking about at State House is shocked that I have spoken about it because he thought it was going to be a secret. If the Chinese can come and tell us while they are still in power, how many things will they tell us when they are out of power?”
And Kambwili said President Lungu had no integrity and therefore would not represent him at the January 18 National Dialogue meeting.
“In my view, President Lungu has no integrity. How can a man with no integrity represent me?” Kambwili said.
Meanwhile, Kambwili insists that engaging the mining company would be the only solution to the problem created following the mining tax changes.
He condemned President Lungu’s statement issued on the Copperbelt in which he warned the mine owners over their plans to cut over 1,000 miners’ jobs.
“There is anxiety on the Copperbelt with the looming job cuts. My advice once again is that engage the mining companies, there is nothing better than dialogue. Leadership is not about rhetoric, it’s not about playing to the gallery where you start issuing statements,” said Kambwili.
Special Assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda could not be reached by phone to comment on Kambwili’s remarks.