Our organisation is deeply concerned about one name that has been implicated in the Mukula smuggling saga. Tasila, the President’s daughter. Guilty or innocent, her name should not be appearing anywhere near such scandals. We say this with no ounce of malice or sarcasm whatsoever. We are addressing the President’s daughter with all the love, respect and admiration that she deserves.
We have observed with keen interest the steady rise of Tasila Lungu on the political scene. We have noticed the growth of her influence in the country and the surge of her financial power. We have seen her build recreational facilities such as a football ground fitted with artificial turf in Lusaka’s Chawama Township. She has also been in the news handing over infrastructure to government, built from her own pocket, such as a police station. She has been donating hundreds of bags of maize to hungry people in the country and she has started an empowerment fund targeting to give start up capital to business women.
We insist that we have nothing against the President’s adorable daughter. She is a councilor, and there is nothing wrong with a civic leader empowering people around her and transforming the community she (supposedly) lives in. We believe she is being a good councilor who cares about her community.
But that is exactly the problem. She is a councilor, just a councilor, and nothing else major, apart from being the President’s daughter. Now, to the best of our knowledge, as at 2017, a councilor does not earn more than K5,000 per month. This is according to Statutory Instrument Number 26 of 2017 signed by then Local Government Minister Vincent Mwale on March 24. Before this intervention, councilors were getting as little as 1,000 per month as an allowance.
We have a councilor in Nkoloma Ward of Lusaka’s Chawama compound who has been spending big. The investments she has put up in a short period that she has been in office far surpass those made by senior civil servants who have served government at the highest level and retired with all their benefits. Zambians would be comforted to hear the sources of wealth that Tasila Lungu has.
If she has explained to the father and he is okay with it, that’s okay, but it’s not enough because this is no longer a family affair. It cannot be a family affair if her fingers start stretching towards the plunder of natural resources. Zambians would like to know; this young lady is constructing all over the place, where is she getting the money? We need to make sure here that when the President claims to be fighting corruption, it starts from his house.
How is Tasila managing to build all these structures and making all these donations from a councilor’s salary? Which bank is giving her unlimited credit facilities to do all these things? And readers may be interested to know, by the way, that this particular councilor donated her one-year salary towards empowering women and this story was carried by State owned media. So where does the funding for the rest of her projects come from?
We understand that Tasila probably has ambitions of becoming a member of parliament, and she is trying her best to give as much as she can to the community in exchange for love. Who knows, if her father can move from the fringes of poverty to come and get the most powerful job in the country, maybe she can do it too! But we feel she is courting trouble in her pursuit for popularity.
This is why today, we thought of giving this sister some candid advice because when we hear stories that kuno Tasila has fenced off huge portions of forest land for private use and elsewhere we hear she is making humongous donations, without any publicly known business, we see a prima facie case of abuse of office by her and her father.
We feel Tasila is flirting with trouble, but it’s not too late to change. If she wants to have a peaceful life after her father’s reign in State House, she needs to stay very far away from dirty business associates who are now dragging her name in scandals such as the Mukula smuggling saga. This presidency is not hers, and she must never make the mistake of latching onto her father’s authority and assuming that she will enjoy any sort of protection when the law comes knocking.
Tasila must learn from mistakes made by those whose parents were in power before, because her father will not be in State House long enough for her to make all the mistakes by herself. Examples are many for her to pick, but we would like to remind her of the most recent one when she was old enough to follow the news. This is the story of Henry Banda, a President’s son who was extremely powerful and influential, until a few Zambians withdrew their votes from his father.
The same police that provided security for president Rupiah Banda when he was in State House is the same police that issued an Interpol arrest warrant against his son, Henry. When his father was Republican President, Henry had similar access to unexplained wealth and government deals, but when the people of Zambia evicted his family from State House, he became a fugitive, he could not set foot in his own country because there was a bounty on his head.
Mwamvela ba Tasila? If you think we are just jealous, feel free to discard this advice and tell us to shut up! But be rest assured that the day you will be summoned by DEC, this editorial opinion will be published again in form of laughter, because no one feels sorry for a snake charmer who gets bitten. Tasiliza.