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I’m not that rich, says Lusambo

THERE is nothing that we do in our province apart from inspecting the late comers, says Lusaka Province minister Bowman Lusambo.

Lusambo says he is not that rich but can afford a bag of mealie-meal and bread.

He said he was millions of miles away from abusing public money.

He said he could not siphon government money because it was subject to audits.

Lusambo, who is Kabushi PF member of parliament, was speaking on ZNBC TV’s Sunday Interview programme, hosted by Grevazio Zulu.

“Siphoning public money from where? Government money is audited and for me as provincial minister, I’m not anywhere near to government money. I have my permanent secretary who controls the resources of our province. For me I don’t even sit in the tender committee. We don’t award contracts…” Lusambo said when asked if he knew that even a thief or corrupt person could siphon public money and claim that it came from well-wishers.

“There is nothing that we do in our province apart from inspecting the late-comers [and] also sensitising our officers on the morals, values, principles, patriotism towards work. So, for me when it comes to public money, I can assure you that I’m millions of miles away from touching the money. I can’t even touch the money because I don’t even sign cheques in my office. My job is purely on service delivery, just like other ministers.”

Lusambo has been in the limelight for his jaw-dropping philanthropy, only as a minister.

In Kabushi Constituency, in Ndola, Lusambo donated thousands of bags of mealie-meal, cooking oil and other necessities for ‘vulnerable’ constituents.

“Let me clarify that the mealie-meal which went into Kabushi Constituency was 1,600 bags. If it was in money terms, it is less than K150,000. So, for those people who are saying we donated 5,000 bags of mealie-meal, they are just lying…” Lusambo explained.

He ‘clarified’ that what he donated was bought using money from his well-wishers and not: “my money.”

“I’m not that rich! But I’m able to buy a sack of mealie-meal and bread for my beautiful family so that we can keep going. I’m not that rich,” Lusambo said.

“I have been staying like this for quite some time. If I was rich…I started building in 2013; if I was rich, I would have finished my house by now.”

About the thousands of dollars that he offered to pay FIFA, on behalf of former Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Kalusha Bwalya, Lusambo responded: “Me, I work!”

“My salary, if I can manage to part away with K10,000 per month, I can even help you. I have helped people before and helping people doesn’t mean you need to have millions, thousands of dollars. You can help from the small resources which you have,” he said.

Asked if there was a group of well-wishers that had consistently given him food items to donate, Lusambo answered that: “they will continue giving me.”

He stressed that his well-wishers have “vowed” to continue sponsoring him but that he was not obliged to reveal them.

Zulu then asked how Zambians could believe that what he was donating was from well-wishers and not him, Lusambo insisted that: “I’m not obliged to avail my sponsors to you, Grevazio, because they are not your sponsors. That is the most important thing to know; that I have well-wishers.”

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