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Take Zambia’s destiny in your hands, Kalaba urges citizensBy Mirriam Chabala on 21 Feb 2018
Bahati PF member of parliament Harry Kalaba has urged Zambians to take the destiny of the country in their own hands and be the change that they want to see.
And Kalaba, who is former Foreign Affairs Minister, says he resigned from his position in order to suffer along with the majority Zambians who had no access to government resources.
Meanwhile, Kalaba says he will form his own political party and contest the presidency if the ruling Patriotic Front give him compeling reasons for resigning as an MP.
Speaking when he appeared on Prime Television’s Oxygen of Democracy programme, Monday, Kalaba urged Zambians to question suspicious procurement deals in government.
“My resignation is a statement that we can’t continue running the affairs of the state in the manner that they are being run, that’s a statement I am making. For me, from now on-wards I am urging Zambians to get interested in the affairs of the country, they must know how there country is being run, they must question things that are being done wrongly. Surely, if they can not question certain procurements that are in public domain and they are just silent about it… It is their money that is being spent. Zambians have to take the destiny of this country in their hands. It starts with an individual; you are the change that you want to see. For me, it starts here, we are looking for a Zambia that will accommodate both those that know people in government and those that don’t know,” he said.
He wondered why the PF was expecting him to stay in a corrupt government.
“Why are they forcing me to continue enjoying as a minister? Why are they forcing me? I have said I don’t want, I want to be part of a larger majority that is struggling because I know the reality in this country is that people are struggling. Why are you forcing me to have those personal to holder vehicles? Why are you forcing me to continue being paid for telephone and water and electricity? I don’t want, I want to join the majority and feel the pinch like the majority, so why do you want me to continue enjoying? If you are enjoying yourselves and you are happy with it then continue enjoying but don’t force it on others. I have said I don’t want, and decency requires that you leave somebody who says they don’t want, alone. Ama jealous pa kaiche, efyo chaba (don’t be jealous of the youngster)? It’s not fair, give me space and give me a break,” he said.
Asked if he was ambitious to become President of Zambia, Kalaba said he was willing but that he was still studying the kind of agenda that the ruling party was advancing against him.
“Even that (becoming President) is not a problem, if the Zambian people say I can be President then why not? Just why not? I am available to become President if the Zambian people ask me to. As for the question of whether Kalaba will form a political party, that will depend on the Patriotic Front, I am actually studying the reasons that the PF is advancing towards my continued stay in the party. If I find that the reasons they are advancing are credible, I will move on. When I resigned as Foreign Affairs Minister nobody pushed me to resign and when the time to resign as member of parliament comes, no body will push me. I will move on, so that shouldn’t be a worry for anybody,” he said.
And Kalaba said he was ready to pay the price so that Zambians could be free from a corrupt leadership.
“I have always said that I am a son of a chief and a chief’s son is never chased but stops on their own. So they [PF] should not even try to fix me or bring me down because I am equal to the task. But if they are planning to have me out of the PF at their own pace, I have got news for them and for them maybe it’s bad news… I know what’s happening and I am fully prepared for what is happening and I have said even when we were getting independence in this country, some people lost their lives, there were people who went to the white man and asked him to shoot them so that others could be free and that’s the freedom we are enjoying today. So it’s okay if that is the price I am paying now. If that price will only help to correct the system then it’s okay, somebody must pay the price and I am available,” Kalaba said.
And Kalaba said he was willing to pay back the money he obtained while illegally occupying his ministerial position after the dissolution of Parliament in 2016.
“I hope the Secretary to Cabinet is listening to me here because when I was Foreign Affairs Minister I did ask that I pay back that money and we have written to him and I am still waiting for his response and I hope I get that response before the close of business this week. Business as usual is not good. I think people have spoken and the courts have ruled and I don’t have anymore authority to overrule what the courts have said, mine is to oblige so I will pay. If it means me not getting salaries for the sittings [in Parliament] then it’s okay, but I will pay,” said Kalaba.
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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