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OP FUNDING PF…it’s being used to undermine democracy in the country – Changala

BREBNER Changala believes that with the grand size criminal record of senior officials in the PF government, their next stop is from opulence to jail.

Meanwhile, Changala, a vocal good governance activist, says Zambia’s Office of the President wing is being used to undermine democracy in the country.

Changala visited The Mast newspaper offices in Lusaka’s Ibex Hill area yesterday.

He said: “we are living very dangerously and that’s why the guy can say ‘even in 2026 I’m standing.’”

“He knows what he is talking about because the vote you and I cast doesn’t count. Something else will count! He knows probably by 2021 they will have changed the law like [Yoweri] Museveni, [Paul] Kagame to say you can stand as many times as you want,” Changala said.

“There is one danger which I keep on telling everybody; [with] the crimes they have committed these guys, they will be foolish to hand-over power. Their next stop is from opulence to jail! These people are highly educated and they know that there is no way the government can lose power, with these crimes they have committed, and walk the streets freely.”

He insisted that there was no way current senior government officials could escape imprisonment, under a different executive.

“Their next station is Chimbokaila (Lusaka Central Correctional Facility). From opulence to jail! From flying high, they will fly low and that they know. They will defend every mortar and brick, no matter how they got it. Mind you, corruption fights back because it is well oiled financially. They will hit back!” he explained.
Chnagala lamented about the PF government’s ongoing attempts to mutilate the Constitution, “instead of strengthening it.”

“They are tempering with things which have nothing to do with the progress of Zambia. Every day that they wake up, they think about ‘how long are we going to stay in power, without surrendering power?’” Changala noted.

“There is no electricity in this country, there is hunger in this country, the economy is falling apart [but] they don’t even talk about it. But when you touch on their stay in power, it’s treason.”

He also pointed out that the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) commissioner, Inspector General of Police, and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) director general must be given security of tenure for independent performance.
He said Zambia needed to create institutions which the executive must fear.

“At the moment, the executive fears nothing. In fact, they (the executive) are working on destroying institutions. The Public Protector, an institution which I lobbied for, came to fruition. It was commissioned but Brought-In-Dead (BID). It was a BID case! It never even passed through ICU (Intensive Care Unit),” Changala complained.

“The Public Protector is a very strong institution; that’s the only institution that can question the presidency of all the allegations that [Chishimba] Kambwili talks about. But they have decapitated it! She (Caroline Sokoni) is the only person there who has security of tenure….”

Changala further wondered whether or not someone has ever sat down to find out: “as to why when a ruling party loses power, it’s instantly broke and when an opposition party wins power it’s instantly liquid.”

“What science is that? Financial magic! The money that the ruling party uses is approved by the House (Parliament) to be used against them (those in the opposition),” he said.

“The presidency is funded by Parliament but twice. There’s money given to the President through State House [and] through the Office of the President (OP). OP is 4,500 plus or minus, in terms of manpower. The Zambia Army, from the Army Commander to the sweeper, is 35,000 manpower. But the OP gets more money than Zambia Army!”

He added that only about 20 per cent of the money to the OP went to salaries, allowances and other expenditures.
Changala explained that 80 per cent of the other budgetary allocation: “is the piggy bank for the President!”

“There’s a financial charter; that OP account is only audited by the Auditor General, not the deputy Auditor General, not the Auditor General’s establishment. That amount of money in the piggy bank is spent by two people – the President and the director general [of the OP],” Changala said.

“The President tells the director general ‘I want $2 million, I want $3….’”

Changala noted that it was the intelligence that ran the ruling party financially and that it was the same wing that: “subverts democracy because they go flat out to buy individuals.”

“The ruling party has no money! But if the President said ‘we need The Mast to be on our side; buy everything that they want…’ They will do it. The opposition must fight that and I know that they will be blocked on account of security, that ‘we don’t discuss security here.’ But there is nothing like security on the OP’s finances. They are there to subvert democracy!” he said.

Changala further indicated that with the recent approval by Parliament of the 2020 national budget, “the opposition have just approved money to hit them [with].”

“As the press, you should run through this narrative so that they (the government) know that we know how they abuse these funds. The same OP goes to Parliament for a supplementary budget that the money they were given has run out,” said Changala.

“But a 35,000 strongman team doesn’t even go back for a supplementary budget! They are so disciplined these soldiers; they don’t overrun their budget. But a piggy bank is ever broke!”

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