There’s no doubt Edgar Lungu and his minions had been abusing taxpayer’s money to enrich and keep themselves in power.
And Brebner Changala is right in his belief that with the grand size criminal record of senior officials in the Patriotic Front government, their next stop is from opulence to jail.
And they have been abusing state institutions to stifle meaningful opposition and keep themselves in power.
As Changala correctly observes, Zambia’s Office of the President wing is being used to undermine democracy in the country.
“We are living very dangerously and that’s why the guy can say ‘even in 2026 I’m standing,” says Changala. “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. 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. 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! 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? 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.”
To explain the corruption of Edgar’s league further, Changala wonders “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). 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!”
Changala says only about 20 per cent of the money to the OP went to salaries, allowances and other expenditures, the rest “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]. The President tells the director general ‘I want $2 million, I want $3…It was the intelligence that ran the ruling party financially and 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,” says Changala.
But Edgar and his minions shouldn’t think that they will get away with all these abuses and plunder of public resources. As Levy Mwanawasa once remarked, “Stealing of public funds using the intelligence is not a matter of national security.” They will one day have to account for the public funds they are abusing and stealing using the intelligence services. And it doesn’t matter how long they keep themselves in power. There was Al Bashir! He kept himself in power for a very long time! Where is he today?