SINGER Chama Fumba, alias Pilato, is saddened that “there is a king who has bought a jet with borrowed money” when most public service workers are begging for their salaries.
Pilato is asking: “where is the kasaka ka ndalama (a small bag of money)” that it cannot be opened to pay ‘ever-protesting’ lecturers at public universities and council workers around the country?
He wondered where the problem was that Zambia should be grappling with all sorts of financial hardships.
Pilato made the remarks on Muvi TV’s Our Perspective programme on Friday evening.
“There is a king who has bought a jet with borrowed money, [yet] people have to go to the road to beg, cry for their salaries,” lamented Pilato.
“If there is no money, maybe we can sell the jet! There is a huge jet that is just parked at the airport, waiting for the President to move, when we have so many of our people that are working so hard. Why do we have lecturers begging for their salaries? Why do they have to issue threats for them to be paid?”
Pilato asked why council workers had to line up and protest for them to get paid.
“Where is the problem? Is there some money somewhere…? Where is the kasaka ka ndalama (a small bag of money)? Bring it here so that we can share it with the people. If there is no money, let’s create a new conversation and find money as a country,” Pilato said.
Asked if the PF government lacked priorities, Pilato responded: “of course.”
“They want to be rich men and rich women in a poor country. How embarrassing! How do you justify buying of a jet for an individual at 140 something million dollars when you still have young boys and girls sitting under a tree for a classroom? You go to the hospital and you find broken Panado…” Pilato said.
On the continued closure of the Copperbelt University (CBU) in Kitwe, Pilato, who is leading an ‘Open CBU’ social media campaign, hoped Zambians could be brave enough to appreciate the power of education.
CBU students rioted on April 3 following a decision by the University management to suspend union leaders.
Higher education minister Professor Nkandu Luo then announced an indefinite closure of the university on April 5.
On April 14, Prof Luo, on ZNBC TV’s Sunday Interview programme, likened the behaviour of CBU students who rioted to that of “people who smoke dagga.”
Dagga is the South African word for cannabis.
She said there was need to understand the behaviour of students because there was “definitely” something the learners were doing.
The minister, however, refused to divulge the sort of security systems that would be installed at the CBU before its re-opening.
Pilato, in response to a caller from Monze, who charged that educated people were useless and cowards, refused to agree with that assertion.
“The moment we begin to think that educated people are cowards and useless, then we’ll justify the closure of CBU because we’ll begin to think that education is useless. Education is what has gotten us up to here…. So, educated people are not useless and cowards; they are key to the development of this country. The way forward is open CBU and open CBU,” Pilato explained.
“Running an institution should be beyond our emotions. If there is no money, just say it that there is no money to run the institutions and then we can discuss how we can raise that money. But for now, open CBU and open CBU. This country needs brains than amaka (power). Tulefwaya amano mu Zambia (we want brains in Zambia).”
Meanwhile, Pilato said Zambian politicians need to apologise to God “because we’ve used His name to disadvantage those that are not politically connected.”
“We’ve used the name of God to insult, to ridicule, to embarrass those that do not belong to certain political parties. So, where you want to lie to be super conmen and women, you use the name of God!” regretted Pilato.