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Lungu is the high priest of plunder, says Kalala

JACK Kalala has charged that President Edgar Lungu is the emperor of corruption.

On Thursday, The Mast published a story where the PF expressed anger at good governance activist Brebner Changala’s view that State House had become a crime scene where corruption is being tolerated.

Changala said President Lungu had shown that he was an accomplice by keeping quiet on criminal activities taking place in his administration.

“I stand here to report publicly, as the money has been displayed publicly, that there’s a crime scene and that crime scene is at State House. State House is now a crime scene, this must be emphasised,” said Changala in part. “So, the PF in their desperation to hold on to power are committing financial crimes on a daily basis. Bowman Lusambo has implicated the President, that the President is the one peddling the cash that they’re throwing all over the show. And the President has not denied [it]. So, the President is an accomplice in this financial misdemeanor.”

Responding to Changala, Lusaka Province PF secretary Kennedy Kamba said corruption has in fact been the ruling party’s enemy number one.

He said the PF would not allow President Lungu’s integrity to be dragged in the mud.

“For the record, President Lungu has said time and again that he hates corruption, any sort of dirty deals and all related vices. We have senior government officials who have been fired over allegations and proven reports of immoral conduct,” said Kamba. “Corruption has actually been an enemy number one of the PF. Time and again, President Lungu has said he will not shield anybody found wanting in this area of corruption or related criminality. It is, therefore, extremely unacceptable that we have people like Brebner Changala who is busy insulting the integrity of State House and claiming that it has become a crime scene.”

But Kalala, who called The Mast on Thursday, asked Kamba to prove that President Lungu was indeed not corrupt.

The former special assistant to president Levy Mwanawasa for projects implementation and monitoring said the wealth President Lungu and others in PF have accumulated cannot be explained.

“I don’t agree with Kamba. Actually, Lungu is the high priest of plunder. President Lungu is the emperor of corruption. He thinks, he talks, he dreams and he acts corruption,” Kalala charged.

“In Kitwe, Lungu publicly encouraged people to steal. He said you should steal, ubomba mwibala alye fya mwibala (a labourer eats from the field). Is that not encouraging corruption? What is Kamba talking about? Not long ago, [Lusaka Province minister Bowman] Lusambo was on the Copperbelt publicly flaunting money; millions of kwacha he claimed came from President Lungu. Where did President Lungu get all that money from?”

He said having served at State House, he could confirm that there was no bank account where the President was allowed to withdraw money and distribute.

Kalala challenged PF members to state where they had gotten their wealth after only being in power for nine years.

“I served at State House, there’s no account where the President is allowed to draw such huge amounts of money to distribute to people. The President is there to create an economic environment where people are going to work hard and succeed through honest hard work, not distributing money the way he was doing last time,” he said. “During this short period that they have been in government, really, where have they got all the money to afford to build those mansions and buy the expensive cars that members of their families are driving? I have served in government. I’m not talking from without. There’s no way a civil servant, a public servant with his pay can afford to build those mansions from their salaries; it’s not possible.”

Kalala highlighted what he termed several offshoots of plunder by PF officials and allies under President Lungu’s watch.

“If you go to State Lodge [area in Lusaka], you are going to find mansions. It was a bush during the time of [Dr Kenneth] Kaunda, during the time of [Frederick] Chiluba, during the time of Mwanawasa; even during the time of RB [Rupiah Banda],” he said. “But during the time of President Lungu, the whole area has been built up with mansions that you find only in America. Not even businessmen can afford those mansions that have been built there. And you’ll find most of the owners of those houses are PF leaders and their surrogates.”

He further challenged Kamba to point at a former minister in the Kaunda administration who got rich instantly as it was happening now.

“So, let Kamba show the ministers and civil servants who became instant millionaires during the time of president Kaunda and during the time of Mwanawasa; those were not stealing,” Kalala said. “So, he should not be fooling the people of Zambia, we know that these people are stealing. Actually, President Lungu knows that he has served two terms, but he wants to go for a third term. Is that not corruption? Is that integrity?”

Kalala insisted that President Lungu was not a man of integrity.

He said if President Lungu had integrity, he would not be pushing for an unconstitutional third term of office.

“Lungu is not a man of integrity as Kamba is trying to tell us. Even Kamba himself, he’s very rich than he was in MMD. Where does he get the money from? Does the party pay him? How much does the party pay him as provincial secretary?” Kalala asked. “In fact, he shouldn’t have got[ten] annoyed with Changala because he was lying. Kamba got annoyed because Changala told the truth. So, that’s why Kamba got extremely scared, for fear of being exposed. Lungu has no integrity because if he was a man of integrity, he was going to say ‘I have served my time and I’m going to respect the Constitution’.”

Drawing comparison among presidents Kaunda, Mwanawasa and Lungu, Kalala said the previous two would not have encouraged their officials to steal like the current one does.

“Could Kaunda say such things to his ministers or to his party leaders? Could Mwanawasa have said that to his party leaders or his ministers? He wouldn’t have said that because he knew it was wrong,” Kalala said. “But these people have become instantly rich because they are just stealing. So, he should tell us where all these ministers who are serving in PF have found money to become rich. Where has Lungu found 300 mwakuti uko (300 plus) to start distributing to marketeers? It’s not there in the Constitution. So, Kamba should keep quiet.”

Kalala called on Zambians to vote out the PF this August.

He encouraged Changala to speak louder for the people.

“And I’m appealing to Zambians to love their country and make sure that on the 12th of August to do the needful to get rid of the PF. Let’s put responsible people in government who will run our affairs in a transparent manner and who will be accountable to the people of Zambia,” said Kalala. “And Mr Changala should continue speaking, he should not be intimidated. If possible, he should stand on an anthill. If he has been speaking on an anthill he should stand on a hill and speak louder so that the Zambians across the country can hear him.”

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