[By Alfred Chioza]
It’s nauseating to learn how PF managed people’s business of governance and management of the economy of Zambia.
It’s beyond imagination how PF Leaders, severally and individually, looted Zambia’s treasury. The revelations being unearthed clearly point out to the fact that it was free for all to steal as much as they could; there’s no exception!
Stealing, looting or call it what you prefer to call it; they really stole big! Dynasties have been born. The iron of it, is that before this Rag-Tag Team came into power, 99.9 percent of them didn’t have or own anything to their names. Today, they are competing for a slot as to how much millions of dollars or kwacha each one has. The question that begs honest answers is, how did they manage to accumulate the wealth they so carelessly display? I will be pleasantly surprised if any of you readers haven’t watched videos of ordinary and known PF hoodlums and cadres displaying mountains of cash, wines, whiskies, motor vehicles, mansions, boats, choppers, and airplanes. Did they pay appropriate taxes? Could all this wealth have been out of genuine hard work or proceeds of criminal activities, to borrow the phrase coined by PF in 2011 after wrestling power from MMD. Some members got locked up or compromised to join PF. Putting it in context, MMD’s perceived wrong doing, was nothing in scale comparable to the heinous crimes committed by the PF leadership and without exception.
It would appear PF leaders were in government purely to cut deals and enrich themselves. Unfortunately, offering service to the Zambian nationals came last. This is evident by the transformation of paupers of yesteryear who have mysteriously become tycoons. Imagine, these hustlers who were on the streets cutting all sorts of criminal deals and conning unsuspecting Zambians are today stinking rich. Under PF government, they became untouchable and even if they were dragged to court with overwhelming and smoking evidence of wrongdoing, the courts let them off the hook with all the legal tricks in the book. Criminals crawled their way to highest offices of the land and enjoyed immunity from prosecution. The biggest crime one would ever commit in Zambia would be to be an opposition politician. The latest state of the art equipment, trucks and riot gear were procured at high cost to enhance crushing of the opposition. This was their other priority.
Lest we have forgotten, there have been unexplained monumental scandals in the PF government, which in an ideal democracy, would have brought down Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s government. The gassing of Zambians which just dissipated and with a huge collateral damage. Lives and property were lost. To date, no explanation has been offered, not even by the President! By the way, he never addressed the nation. In fact, he was never known to address the nation and take questions from journalists over the state of the nation. His handlers made sure he was never exposed to engage with the press for reasons best kept to themselves. Perhaps they knew his inadequacies well! He was carefully kept on the leash, not even to engage in campaign debates. What were they afraid of? He certainly must have had serious shortcomings this country will never know. But one thing is sure, those who surrounded him found him very useful.
PF and opportunists found in ECL a user-friendly president. Party members looted, plundered and amassed wealth beyond imagination. Government tenders, inflated invoicing, supply of expired drugs. Ghost workers have been problematic, Zesco is said to have suffered the worst. The Zambia Police Service is said to have been hiring mostly cadres. Zambia Revenue Authority is another story for another day. How on earth can a minister order Landcruisers from an obscure carwash company? How did ECL’s government fail to find the owner of 48 houses?
Look at fertilizer scandals! How could one PF cadre who isn’t a Farmer register 127 co-operatives and they all collected farming inputs? He sold it all! District Commissioners, District Agriculture Coordinators, agriculture camp officers and cooperatives connived to defraud the Farmer Input Support Programme.
Land allocation, bus stops and markets were controlled by PF cadres whilst councils failed to raise money and their employees went without salaries for months. Here’s another inexplicable scandal, Zambian gold, presumably stolen from Kasenseli in Mwinilunga, is being smelted in Nairobi, Kenya by Zambians whom we shall soon get to know. Why set shop in Nairobi and not do it in Zambia and offer employment to locals and pay local taxes? Obviously, the whole matter is shrouded in criminal stench.
PF came into power in 2011 as a pro-poor party that promised ‘money in people’s pockets’. And the unsuspecting electorate bought into it and voted them in. Little did they know that the money was to be in the politicians’ pockets. The PF politicians were of the like-minded lot. Actually, the PF government turned out to be a political ponzi scheme. They had absolutely nothing to do with serving the Zambian people, but themselves and their stomachs. When all is said and done, that’s when Zambians will realise what the PF government was: a ‘government of thieves, by thieves, for thieves’.