THE Democratic Party has told Jack Kalala that no amount of mudslinging will change the tenacity that Harry Kalaba has to form government in 2021.
Democratic Party (DP) finance secretary Justin Nkonge says Kalala, who was the special assistant to president Levy Mwanawasa for policy and project implementation and monitoring, wants to bank on the issue of the Lower Zambezi National Park to dent Kalaba’s political reputation.
Kalaba is DP president.
On Tuesday, Kalala, in The Mast, accused Kalaba of being ignorant about issues an aspiring Republican president should know.
Kalala said Kalaba should research and surround himself with a knowledgeable team.
“I feel pity for him because he doesn’t seem to understand issues, although he is aspiring to become President. Exploration and mining are two different ball games altogether,” said Kalala.
“I can obtain an exploration licence over Lusaka town to know what is underground. When I know what is underground, I’ll make a report to government to say what I have found. But mining is a different thing…With exploration, there are so many ways to do it without damaging the environment – you can do drilling, aerial or satellite exploration.”
But Nkonge said he was dismayed to hear what Kalala said against Kalaba.
“It is astonishing to hear Jack Kalala calling a very competent and very knowledgeable person to say he is ignorant. Who is Jack Kalala? He is lucky that he was picked by Mwanawasa. Were we even going to know about Jack Kalala! There is nothing about Jack Kalala,” Nkonge said.
“Harry Kalaba, our president, was a minister of environment; he knows a lot, compared to this Jack Kalala.”
He said the DP was aware that Kalala was trying to propel a certain opposition leader into the Republican presidency.
“We know what Jack Kalala is trying to do; he has got his own people he is trying to propel. He wants to use the Lower Zambezi in order to dent president Kalaba’s image. He will not achieve that,” Nkonge said.
“Let him just continue propelling the people he is propelling for the presidency. In fact, we have advised our president not to respond to Jack Kalala because he, Jack Kalala, is not president Kalaba’s size.”
Nkonge added that Kalala was at the level of some of DP constituency leaders.
“Even me, this is the last time I’m responding to Jack Kalala because he is also not my class,” he indicated.
“Jack Kalala is the one who is displaying a lot of ignorance – he least understands things. That project (Sun Hotels) was just an example; these are the people who were dull at school who ran away with examples and leave the substance. President Kalaba was just giving an example on what happened. [But] Jack Kalala picks the example and runs with it! That’s the dullness we are talking about.”
He warned Kalala to stay away from ‘scandalising’ Kalaba because: “we won’t sit back and allow you to disparage our president who is far more knowledgeable than you.”
“Kalaba has come on the scene and he will form government. No amount of mudslinging will change the tenacity that president Kalaba has to form government. Jack Kalala, you are an elderly person but we are telling you to keep your lane,” he cautioned.
Nkonge also pointed out that if Kalala was knowledgeable as he claimed, he ought to know the issue of the Lower Zambezi National Park was not just about one person or one ministry.
“We expect a lot of wisdom from a person like Mr Kalala…Most of your colleagues you were fighting for independence with are gone but we are seeing a remnant of a coward in you. You were monitoring and project implementation to Mwanawasa. But why didn’t you monitor what was happening in the Lower Zambezi?” asked Nkonge.
“Jack Kalala can’t know everything! Kalala is just speculating, like many people are speculating. There were a lot of issues surrounding Sun Hotels International and president Mwanawasa did help that Sun Hotels International to be built.”