FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza says Higher Education Minister Professor Nkandu Luo should be relieved of her duties because she is killing the education sector.
And Mwanza says politics has been reduced to a game of money making in Zambia.
Speaking when he featured on Radio Phoenix’Let The People Talk programme yesterday, Mwanza said Prof Luo performed better at Tasinta (a rehabilitation centre for sex workers).
“The President has to realize that the buck stops on him. The people of Zambia put him there to provide leadership and when he is selecting people to be in Cabinet he has to do it on merit, he has to do it because these are men and women who are capable to deliver and who are passionate and patriotic about the country. It is not about an option of patronage or trying to please an individual. Honourable Nkandu Luo should not be allowed to continue at the Ministry of Higher Education. She is killing the education sector. I think, to be very fair, she had a wonderful career at Tasinta,” Mwanza said.
And Mwanza said politics had become a game of money making.
“The levels of corruption in this country, the levels of stealing, the levels of abuse of public property and resources is reaching alarming levels. And as leaders, we need to rise above our personal ambitions and start consulting one another, talking to one another to find solutions for the Zambian people. What has gone wrong in this country is that politics have been reduced to a game of money making. If you want to be rich all you do is join politics especially for the ruling party. I think we need unity of purpose, but there is no merging between UPND and FDD. But as leaders we will continue to consult one another and find ways in which we can deal with these problems,” he said.
Mwanza said President Lungu’s failure to deal with corrupt officials showed that he was failing to provide leadership.
“There is need to come up with practical measures to fight corruption. Why is there corruption? It is because there is no leadership in terms of the political will to stop corruption. There is no leadership! Everyone is stealing because everyone has realized that everyone is stealing. First of all, the President [Edgar Lungu] is on record saying that he runs a corrupt government. He said his ministers are stealing from the Zambian people. He told the Zambian people that he will fire these ministers. This is nine months down the line, the President has not fired the ministers who are stealing from Zambians,” he observed.
“This story about ‘give me evidence’ also shows that there is lack of seriousness to fight corruption because the evidence is abound. If you are going to ask people for evidence when the Auditor General’s report has given you evidence, when the Financial Intelligence Centre has given all the illicit flows of income, it shows that you are failing to provide leadership. What you are doing is running away from the problems. So the President is simply running away from the problems. I saw him on ZNBC he was saying ‘no it is not my job’. So whose job is it? Is it Pilato’s job? Is it [Amos] Chanda Simpindu’s job? The President of this country is a Head of State, he is number one member of parliament, he is the appointing authority. If the President continues following this stance of ‘teine (its not me)’, then he has to leave that office. Because it simply means he doesn’t know his job and he is not ready to work.”
Meanwhile, Mwanza said the dialogue process was going nowhere because both PF and UPND were not showing any seriousness.
“Up to date, Professor [Ibrahim] Gambari has failed to bring HH [Hakahinde Hichilema] and ECL [President Edgar Chagwa Lungu] to the table to have a one to one talk. Reasons HH has refused to recognize ECL and ECL has refused to say ‘he stole the vote’. So these are the problems that are there and the Patriotic Front know that what I am saying is the truth. That they have also refused to allow ECL to go and sit with HH if he doesn’t recognize ECL as duly elected President of Zambia. And the UPND have also refused to sit on the table and recognize President Lungu. So as it is right now, this dialogue issue is not going anywhere because we don’t see President Edgar Lungu and president Hichilema meeting face to face and resolving these issues. There is no seriousness on both sides,” said Mwanza.
“I think it is time to resolve the root cause of these conflicts. My free advice to his Excellency President Edgar Lungu is that, he is the President of the Republic of Zambia and has to look at himself as the President. It is up to him as the President to actually put [Hakahinde] Hichilema in a box. All he needs to do is to avail himself and say ‘I’m ready we can talk’. If Hichilema refuses to talk because he doesn’t recognize the man, the Zambian people will judge. I think the President shouldn’t be ducking with the issue of recognition. If he is so obsessed with being recognized, is it that he is not confident that he won? Because if you win you don’t have to fight to be recognized.”