MUTALE Nalumango has charged that President Edgar Lungu is truly a mfwiti (wizard), no wonder his cavalier dismissal of the glaring revelations of the Financial Intelligence Centre. Nalumango, the UPND national chairman, says unless President Lungu explains how his financial fortune grew from K2 million in 2015 to K23 million in mid 2016, he should be called a thief.
On arrival at the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) airbase in Lusaka from Ndola on Wednesday evening, President Lungu was asked about the latest Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) report which details suspected money laundering, corruption and bribery involving K6.1 billion but he dismissed it as speculation because no minister was named.
Addressing journalists at the UPND secretariat in Lusaka yesterday, Nalumango said individuals in the PF government were: “robbing us of the goodness that Zambia is blessed with.”
Before the press briefing, Nalumango led a horde of the opposition party’s placard-carrying youths in a protest march on Provident Street.
The placards bore messages condemning thieving government officials while others called for their resignation.
“Zambia is endowed with such precious, natural and human resource. But unfortunately, the human resource that we placed into the office to govern seems to have totally taken a wrong route – almost sinking us politically, socially and economically into embarrassment to the rest of the world,” Nalumango said.
“Zambia, a nation that has been known for its stability for a long time now, today is an embarrassment. We are ashamed today but we take our stand as UPND, on behalf of every Zambian, including many PF members who are observing what is happening. I’m proud to be UPND today because we have declared…. When I stand here, I’ll not curse Zambia; I’ll bless Zambia.”
She explained that the UPND membership continuously uttered ‘Zambia forward,’ to signify that the party, once in government, would work to realistically develop Zambia.
Nalumango mocked the PF membership that while it was dancing to a political jingle titled Dununa Reverse in the 2016 elections campaign, “ilelo balelwa (they are fighting today).”
“Lungu, my young brother, you better repent. You are pulling us backwards! Today we are talking about a report that was released by the Financial Intelligence Centre. Surely, ba Lungu kuti mwayasuka ati mulelandalanda fye. Mfwiti, mfwiti, mfwiti (Surely, Mr Lungu can you respond that people are talking baselessly! Wizard, wizard, wizard.) Muli mfwiti zoona (you’re truly a wizard)! Muli mfwiti ba tata (you are a wizard, dad),” Nalumango said.
“Namutulowa ba tata (you’ve bewitched us), twafwa insala fwebena Zambia (we are starving as Zambians), ilyo abena Zambia balefwa insala imwe mulelya (as Zambians are starving, you are eating). Ala pompwe ni pompwe (a hardcore thief is truly a hardcore one) munshibila insala (shameless thief). Aya ama report tulemona, mumfwe eo tule eba ati pompwe munshibila insala (these reports that we are seeing, pay attention to the one we are calling a hardcore and shameless thief). Niwebo wewasenda wakula amayanda 49 (it’s that one who ‘steals’ and builds 49 houses!) Bushe kwikalamo ulefwaya (do you want to be living in those houses)?”
She likened President Lungu and his government to a snake that bites only for destruction, unlike eating.
“Uli nsoka isumina uboni (you are a snake that bites merely for destruction). You are a snake; you bite for destruction. When a snake bites, it just ends there without eating what it has bitten. Ifyo muleiba tamulefibomfya nokufibomfya, amayanda 49 (you are not even making use of your stolen lot, 49 houses!),” Nalumango said.
Nalumango added that the FIC report was outlining theft.
“There’s a heading that they are calling theft [and] the bigger chunk of what has been stolen from us is through corruption. Corruption in Zambia has been institutionalised by the Patriotic Front,” she noted, adding that Zambians should take time and dissect the report.
“How do you keep a person in office who has been arrested? He is under investigation, he is in the courts of law and he is supervising the [ministry] directors that are supposed to give evidence! Bushe twalilala fwebena Zambia (are we that sleepy as Zambians). Ba Lungu was given this [report] and he knows better than we do, just like he said. The report says 80 cases were reported to the law enforcement units.”
Nalumango encouraged Zambians, whether UPND or PF members, to rise and question the government on its numerous inadequacies.
Meanwhile, Nalumango challenged President Lungu: “for evidence about how you have accumulated financial wealth.”
“In 2015 you declared K2 million and in 2016 you declared K23 million. I’m asking as a Zambian that you explain how you have made that amount of money,” said Nalumango.
“Then we’ll disassociate you from theft and the only blame we will apportion on you is failure to control your subordinates in government. For now, we also call you the same name [of] thief! I’m just using information that is in public domain. All we want is you to tell us where you got your money so that we can have peace.”