Minister of Community Development Emerine Kabanshi says she is waiting for the Anti Corruption Commission to summon her and three other ministers who have been reported for abusing their authority of office during a campaign tour of Luapula province.
The National Democratic Congress has reported Kabanshi, Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya, Minister of Infrastructure Ronald Chitotela, and Luapula province Minister Nixon Chilangwa to the ACC for using State facilities, including Zambia Air Force planes during their recent political campaign trail to Luapula province.
Chitotela declined to comment on the matter, but Kabanshi told News Diggers! that, although the ministers used government vehicles and planes, they did not bribe people during the meetings.
She said the ministers were not on a campaign tour but were jointly mingling with the people who voted them into power.
Asked why they were using State resources on campaign related activities, Kabanshi said as government officials, they were entitled to using facilities there were at their disposal in order to travel faster, but insisted that the meetings were not campaigns.
“Are we not government officers? That was to allow us to move and meet [the] people as fast as possible. You know Luapula is the poorest province in the country and we need to go there as often as possible. We have been going there, only that we were not going in clusters. These days we work in clusters,” she explained.
“So we are not going to listen to the people who want to deter us from working. We are here to work for the people and we want to hear what the people want. We came back [from Luapula] and we are now working on the issues that the people raised. So there were no politics there. That is not politics, we were jointly listening to people’s concerns and mingling with them.”
Asked if she would appear for questioning if the ACC summoned her, Kabanshi said she was ready because she did not wrong.
“If they (NDC) have reported me to the Anti Corruption [Commission], that’s the way they feel about it. And I’m waiting for us to be summoned by ACC because we didn’t bribe anyone. We were only engaging our people. There was nothing wrong with what we did. We were not doing politics there. That was engaging the people. What politics were there? We just thought of doing it together with other ministers. We could have done it in isolation, each minister having a gathering,” she said.
“We are implementing programs and we can not implement community programs by just going to institutions. My work is to talk to the people and to listen to their problems. If the people are not receiving any money they tell me that they are not receiving any money. If we only go where there are few people, we will not get the real comments from people to work on.”
And Kabanshi said the PF government was in love with the poor people.
“This is a working government; a government for the people; a government that loves the poor. What we are doing is to make sure that the poor are taken care of. The poor are crying for the roads, they are not able to access special services but we are working on that. The poor do not have money and we will be helping them. What will be limiting us are the resources,” said Kabanshi.
“If we had a lot of money, I think we could have done a lot for the people of Zambia. But we are still there, God is in control and we will serve the people as long as God wants us to serve the people; not as long as the opposition wants us to serve the people, no. The ones who put us here [in power] are the people of Zambia and also God allowed it.”
During the tour, Kabanshi told the people that no other President would ever give them more money than President Lungu was doing.
She disclosed that over 2,000 Luapula residents were being paid K1,000 each and that she had taken about 2,000 cell phones to the people in the region.
Chitotela asked the residents to raise their hands if they wanted President Lungu to stand again in 2021, which they did.