FDD president Edith Nawakwi says Harry Kalaba must be specific with his allegation against those he has left in government by naming the corrupt and revealing their corruption.
And Nawakwi says the more ministers try to explain the mukula scam, the more questions remain unanswered.
Reacting to Kalaba’s resignation as Minister of Foreign Affairs in an interview Wednesday, Nawakwi said she was tired of waking up to corruption allegations from former ministers.
“Honestly speaking, you can’t comment if he makes a blanket statement. He should be specific. If Harry Kalaba says ‘this government is corrupt’, corruption is a very big word. He should point the finger. The way it was done before and after. That ‘you! Mr X, you cut the mukula tree and you loaded it’. To just walk around and say this government is corrupt, how do we know? He is PF and he has been PF from the beginning. Has he just woken up and seen corruption?” Nawakwi asked.
“So when I have people running around ‘corruption, corruption’, they are just hiding something which we don’t know. Let Mr Kalaba be very open. My dear brother be very open and say ‘it is that sister, it is that brother, it is that Vice-President or the President whom I am running away from because they did 1, 2, 3, 4 things’.
We are tired. Bantu badya badya badya, vawama, ngati vapaka bachokamo ati no, sivinawame (people just eat and when they are fed up, they leave and say it wasn’t nice). Tell us, where is the corruption? Is it at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? Is it at Cabinet Office? Where is the looting going? Is it at State House? Come out, don’t just walk out and say ‘there is corruption’. How do we know maybe he has differed with his employer and therefore it is vogue to say corruption?”
Nawakwi also took jabs at Roan PF member of parliament and UPND vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba.
“You know, this word [corruption], [Chishimba] Kambwili comes out and says this government is corrupt, and we were talking about the fact that Mr Kambwili, in Luanshya had road contracts of roads which were not completed, you remember? Every Zambian has forgotten and some of us were being abused and waylaid in radio stations by Mr Kambwili himself. Now he has come out, he is a darling, the law must follow him because now he is pointing at those who have remained, ‘ine I am clean because I have gotten out’. That is not the way life is. We tried to draw the attention of people to say Mr Kambwili took over a golf course in Luanshya. Mr Kambwili had road contracts on the Copperbelt which were not concluded, he was there, he was minister. Could you walk into Copperbelt? You were almost being harassed for going to the Copperbelt just for being very specific and saying ‘this one’,” Nawakwi said.
“We told them that some ministers of defence whom we may not name in the party, but those days we were very specific, ‘they are selling timber to Zesco, they are selling mealie meal to the army’, we were very specific those days. Why are people hiding in the word corruption? Why? Why are they cowards? That’s cowardice. Come out man! We support you, come out!”
she said it was important to be specific, as she was, on issues of corruption.
“The other day when I was talking about mukula, I was very specific. I said there is absolutely no way the Inspector General of Police doesn’t know about what is going on because his men are in road blocks. And there are road blocks every two meters. Before you even answer the call of nature, you see a road block road blocks in this country are like pit latrines. I was very specific. That is very specific and graphic because I want a response from the Inspector General of Police.
I can’t say ‘the government must tell us’, government is me and you and them. So when he says there is corruption in government, he is including me, I am government. The people are government. He must be very specific,” she said.
Nawakwi suggested that those who made corruption allegations be arrested and compelled to reveal more.
“And people who go out and say there is corruption, they must be arrested immediately and be instructed to tell us the truth as a people,” she said.
But when asked if it was logical to arrest whistle blowers, Nawakwi said, “But what whistle has he blown by saying there is corruption? He is just making a statement. Corruption is a word which is used in the whole continent, now it is in Europe, everywhere, it is just a word like Good morning. Now when you blow the whistle, you are very specific. The point I am making, I think you need to understand what I am saying, he needs to say the level of corruption, where is it? Is it in the army and who is involved? By name; Commander X. that is what I want myself. I am not going to wake up every day ‘government is corrupt’. You people, why can’t you be specific? Tell us because we will follow up. Like the young men impounded the mukula truck, at least we got to know what is in the truck. That is excellent.”
And Nawakwi said there were too many unanswered questions on the exportation of mukula.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions on the mukula. First they said that they are investigating to find out who the owner is, immediately after six hours, they said the owner is ZAFFICO. Truly, the people who should have come forward in the first instance is ZAFFICO themselves and Zambia Revenue Authority. ZRA should have said ‘we have documentation that these items are going out of the country and the owner is ZAFFICO. There was no need for the fracas. And the fact that people can tell me that there was an escort vehicle with money raises a whole lot of questions because we are aware as citizens that the smugglers of Mukula, the front escort vehicle was loaded with money which money is used to bribe their way through road blocks,” said Nawakwi.
“Have you ever seen an escort vehicle for emeralds and copper? Have you ever seen a copper truck with an escort vehicle carrying cash? For what?
The story doesn’t add and the more they try to explain, the worse off it becomes…They are just embarrassing us these guys, they should get a bit more organised. For 30 trucks of mukula you have the defence security, joint whatever? So it is worth more than copper?”