By Sipilisiwe Ncube
In this audio, Former information minister Chishimba Kambwili says President Edgar Lungu must explain why he spent three days in Swaziland with a huge delegation that included businessmen and contractors.
And Kambwili has also challenged Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo to explain why paramilitary police are guarding President Lungu’s shopping malls being constructed in Chawama, Lilayi and Petauke “from unexplained resources”.
Speaking at a press briefing at his house today, Kambwili’s who is also Roan PF member of Parliament said he was shocked to see the Head of State posing for pictures with contractors in Swaziland.
“His Excellency the President was invited by the Swazi King Mswati to go and officially open the International Trade Fair. The question that we should ask as Zambians is, ‘was it necessary for the President to go for three days?’ because the President left on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and is expected in the country today – four days. A flight from Lusaka international Airport into Swaziland is 1:50 minutes. The question is ‘was it necessary for the President to have gone to open a Trade Fair; leave the country on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and comes back on Monday?” he asked.
“What we are seeing from the pictures that are coming on social media is that the President went for holiday. They are busy taking pictures with some of the contractors on the road sectors here in Zambia, some of his own friends. If you look at the pictures, you find there is Mr Valden Findlay… who is a know friend of the president. They question is who paid for Mr Findlay’s passage into Swaziland? Who is paying for his meals? Who is paying for his hotel bills? And the other contractors and friends who are on the pictures, we also want to know as Zambians who paid for their air tickets to go into Swaziland? Who is paying for their meals? And who is paying for their total travel?”
He said Zambians cannot afford to sponsor none government officials on presidential trips.
“We are not going to accept to use taxpayers money on people that have nothing to do with governance of this country. This has to come to an end. Taxpayers money must be spent on civil servants and employees of government but not on friends. And our guess is that maybe the President does not know that some of the people who are in the pictures that we have gone through investigations for drug dealing before,” Kambwili said.
“When you look at the pictures, you find that almost all the special assistants to the President, except about three, have accompanied him. How much are they getting in terms of allowances? How much are they spending on accommodation? How much are they spending on the food that they are eating whilst in Swaziland for four days. Look Zambians, we deserve better, people are suffering.”
He reminded President Lungu that his South African counterpart did not spend a night in Lusaka when he came to officiate at the Agriculture show.
“Precedence has already been set by serious Presidents who care about expenditure. President Zuma, not long ago in July was invited by the Zambian government to be the guest of honor at the Agriculture and Commercial Show. President Zuma flew in in the morning with about seven people, officially opened the show and flew back to South Africa same day. All am saying is we have a wrong leadership in State House, a leadership that is full of nothing but playful,” Kambwili insisted.
“Immediately the President comes back, I want an answer on behalf of the people of Zambia. If it is taxpayers money, I demand that all the people who accompanied the President must refund the treasury. Our humble President left the country on Friday, as I am speaking now, he is not yet back in the country, still opening a trade fair, but that function was done in 30 minutes, at most 1 hour.”
Meanwhile, Kambwili claimed that President Lungu was building a mall in Lilayi area from unexplained funds.
“Yesterday some people from Chawama were telling me that let us go we show you where President Lungu is building a mall in Lilayi. I am telling you Zambians, you will be shocked to see the magnitude of the mall, the size of the mall. Who doesn’t know who Lungu was before he became President? Who doesn’t know who Lungu was before he became MP? Where has he gotten the money? To put up all these infrastructure. He is demolishing his old and building a mall in Chawama, he is building a mall in Lilayi, he is building a mall in Petauke. So what we are asking is that let him tell us where he has gotten the money. The answer that we want is from President Edgar Lungu, its not for you Kampamba, its not for you Bowman to answer, its not for you Chiteme, its for President Edgar Lungu to come on TV himself and say ‘I got so much loan from Finance Bank, that house am building near Memorial Park, I got a loan from Barclays. Those are the answers we need because we don’t want people to be speculating,” said Kambwili.
“We love our President, he is too humble to be building so much without explaining to the people of Zambia where he has gotten the money. And what is disheartening is that where ever he is building, there is paramilitary guarding. That is abuse of authority with impunity. I don’t think the law provides that whatever the President is doing, his private properties, paramilitary or police officers must be guarding those premises. And to make matters worse, even his former house in Jack compound which is on rent, there is a policeman guarding there. Nangu tamwakwata umwenso (even if you have no fear)… Kampyongo withdraw those police officers from those private properties. Even here in the neighbourhood where he used to live as Minister of Justice, he has never handed over that house to the government. His children are staying there and when you check inside there are a lot of brand new vehicles. All those vehicles where did they come from?”