[By Chambwa Moonga in Mansa]
DEMOCRATIC Party president Harry Kalaba says there is no law that empowers either the Electoral Commission of Zambia or President Edgar Lungu to ban campaign rallies.
Kalaba also says Zambians should sonta (point) at what is remaining so that those in the PF can also steal from there.
He featured on a special programme on Yangeni Radio in Mansa on Monday evening.
DP’s Mansa Central and Chifunabuli parliamentary candidates, Mwape Mwelwa and Justine Nkonge, respectively, also spoke on the programme.
He said the DP legal team was studying the ban of campaign rallies and that the party’s position on the matter would be known soon.
“There is no law that allows the ECZ to ban campaign rallies. What law are they using? The one who started the lie of banning rallies is President Lungu. But he doesn’t have the powers to ban rallies because he is also operating under the established electoral Act. And under the electoral Act, campaign rallies are provided for,” Kalaba said. “So, what law is the ECZ using to ban campaign rallies? All the ECZ can do is what they initially said – to discourage holding of campaign rallies. As it is, President Lungu is a candidate like me. He is a player like me.”
He further told Lungu, the PF presidential candidate, that: “if he wants to be above electoral laws, kufumamo mu ring kabili (it’s to leave the ring).”
“He should get out of this race. We are all presidential candidates. Tatwabatine (we’ll not fear them). So, on this issue of banning rallies, there is no law [to support that]. And I can tell you the truth, the DP legal team is looking at this matter, and very soon we’ll be coming up with a position on this matter,” Kalaba said. “There is no law that allows [ECZ chief electoral officer Kryticous Patrick] Mr Nshindano, my very good brother, or the President to ban rallies. What constitutional Article are they using to ban rallies? Let them give us that Article.”
He also said Zambia should strike a commercial deal with Singapore and South Korea over the abundant manganese resource in Mansa.
“This is the same manganese that is being used for phone batteries by Samsung of South Korea. We can have a contract of making phone batteries here in Mansa and all these young people you see in mobile money booths will have decent jobs when we have a manganese processing industry,” Kalaba explained. “But there is no industry in Mansa, Kawambwa, Mwense, Samfya. All you find are PF politics of lies. Politics of saying sonteni apashala tubombelepo (point at what is remaining we work on it). Sonteni ifinshi (point at what)?”
He added: “ni sonteni apashala ukutila napo pene bebe (it’s rather to point at what is remaining so that they can also steal from there).”
“Corruption in PF is thriving and that’s why you find that they have engaged the same family to distribute fertiliser for Farmer Input Support Programme. But we don’t want that. All we want is to show those in the PF that they have failed. These selfish people have taken advantage of the poor. They are burying us alive!” said Kalaba. “How many trained teachers do we have roaming on the streets without jobs? Many! The government has failed to recruit them and they are lying that there is no money. But they have money to fill up the streets of Lusaka with President Lungu’s billboards. Wherever you’ll pass in Lusaka, you’ll see billboards for President Lungu. We know where the money they have stolen from the government has been diverted to. It’s being used to erect campaign billboards and other adverts.”
Earlier in the day, Kalaba was in Bahati Constituency where he campaigned at Kabunda, Matero and Paul Mambilima areas.
He was accompanied by Bahati DP parliamentary candidate Stanley Chama Chisunka and Mansa mayoral candidate Benny Shapi