PF secretary general Davies Mwila says he will not comment on calls for Lucky Mulusa’s dismissal over his statement on fire tenders because he has not yet seen the petition by some party members.

Recently, Mulusa, who is Minister of National Planning and Development, was captured in a video by CBC TV, mocking the 42 fire tenders which were procured at $42 million, saying they looked like wheelbarrows.

“Perhaps we should have given better explanations than the explanations which seem contradictory, which seem not to be making sense to members of the public. We should have probably done an appraisal on fires tenders,” Mulusa said while laughing.

“I see my colleagues struggling to justify [the purchase]. Now we know Liverpool has this one million dollar machine. When you see it on social media, and you look at ours, it looks like a wheelbarrow…”

But in a petition to President Edgar Lungu prepared by Celestin Mukandila, who is a member of the PF information committee; on behalf of four others, the youths asked President Lungu to dismiss Mulusa alleging that the minister had become “trigger happy”.

“We the petitioners, having being endowed by the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia with a responsibility of protecting the ideals and objectives of our Constitution as stated under Article 43(2)(a) which states ‘A citizen shall endeavour to – (a) acquire basic understanding of this Constitution and promote its ideals and objectives’; wish to condemn in the highest order the statement that was made by our Minister at a CIMA function circulating in video format on social media. It seems that our minister has become so trigger happy in terms of issuing Statements,” Mukandila stated.

“We do hereby request that the Minister of National Planning and Development be dismissed with immediate effect for the breach of Cabinet collective responsibility and section 9 (A) and (B) of the Parliamentary and Ministerial code of conduct – Cap 16 of the laws of Zambia which states that ‘a person holding Ministerial office shall not do anything that is inconsistent with the principle of the collective responsibility of Ministers for the policy of the government and the conduct of its affairs, and in particular shall not publicly contradict or disassociate himself from any policy adopted by Cabinet or issue public statements criticising another person holding Ministerial office’.”

Mukandila insisted that the country could not continue considering Mulusa a minister after he had made a mockery of government by questioning the credibility of the purchase of fire tenders.

“The petitioner also wish to remind Zambians that a fortnight ago, the Minister of Local government, hon Vincent Mwale presented a Ministerial statement in Parliament concerning the acquisition of fire tenders as was requested by the House. It is with this background that we cannot have a Cabinet minister continue to be as such after mocking the credibility of fellow Ministers as well as the leader of government business in Parliament Mama Inonge Wina,” he stated.

“Furthermore, the Minister was in breach of Article 114 of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) [No. 2 of 2016 which states: ‘the functions of Cabinet are as follows; Cabinet shall take collective responsibility for Cabinet decisions’. The petitioner further wish to remind our Ministers that basic principles of public administration ought to be exemplary for they are a reflection of the confidence that we the citizens of this country have in the administrative institutions of this country as well as that of cabinet.”

And Mukandila requested that government institutes a commission of inquiry to establish whether or not Mulusa should be prosecuted for his actions.
“The Petitioner also wish to request that a commission of inquiry be instituted in order to establish whether the statement or action by the Minister of Planing and National Development could be prosecuted. A further term of reference be included to establish whether the Minister’s contradicting statement vis a vis the Ministerial statement that was made by Hon Nkandu Luo – Minister of Higher Education concerning [University of Zambia] UNZA state of affairs on non payment of fees amounted to an abrogation of Cabinet collective responsibility,” stated Mukandila.

Meanwhile, when asked for an official party position, PF secretary general Davies Mwila told News Diggers! that he was not aware of the petition by the four youths as he was out in Western Province on a party mobilisation tour.

“I will not be able to comment because I haven’t seen the petition. Right now I am in Western Province where I am conducting party mobilization tours in preparation for 2021. However, I will investigate the matter when I come back to Lusaka and then I will give a comment,” said Mwila.