Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Ronald Chitotela says RDA never bought him a vehicle but that a vehicle was given to him for using when monitoring road projects.
And Chitotela says before joining politics, he almost become a pastor and as such, it does not please him to see people engage in abusive language in their political debates.
The minister was speaking when he featured on radio Christian Voice’s Chat Back programme after he was asked to set the record straight on whether or not he ordered RDA to buy him a vehicle as alleged.
“I am minister responsible for housing and infrastructure development and not for RDA. RDA is one of the statutory bodies under my ministry and nothing stops me as a minister if I don’t have transport and I am going to inspect road projects under RDA to ask for a vehicle from RDA for project monitoring. That doesn’t mean it has become my vehicle. Right now after that vehicle was involved in a road accident, that is an RDA vehicle, registered under RDA,” Chitotela said.
“When I was appointed we had not yet been given an official vehicle and RDA during the monitoring of projects gave me an RDA vehicle for me to use for project monitoring. I don’t even know where it is registered. I called them after I saw it on social media and I said ‘you guys, could it be by error you could have registered…’ they said no sir, this is not happening with you for the first time. All the ministers, if they are inspecting projects from the day RDA was created, we assign vehicles for them to inspect the projects. That doesn’t mean it becomes a minister’s vehicle. Right now after that vehicle was involved in a road accident, it has been in the garage being attended to. I am using the vehicle from the director for planning, does that make it my vehicle? So when people want to find something wrong, they try they don’t, they will create anything that will make you look bad in the eyes of the Zambian people. But alas I have chosen to fight my battles.”
And when asked why the PF government was prioritizing development in PF strongholds, Chitotela said majority projects in non PF strongholds were nearing completion than those in their strongholds.
“Its not correct and I want to state [that] PF government came into power in 2011. And in 2011 we had two parliamentary seats in Western Province and Western Province received the highest number of districts. PF created nine districts in Western Province and one of the most expensive projects PF government has ever implemented in terms of the road projects in Zambia is in Western Province, Mongu-Kalabo road. Obviously if you are saying political stronghold, President [Edgar] Lungu said his constituency is Zambia. He is the father of all Zambians, he is the president of all Zambians including our colleagues who are in the opposition,” Chitotela said.
“Western province received the highest number of districts, followed by Southern province and if I say implementation and completion of projects that are above the percentage, you will find that the majority of them are in non-PF strongholds. We don’t look at the political affiliation; the geographical position.”
Meanwhile Chitotela said donating K18, 000 to a church in Matero was not meant to buy favuor from God.
“As a Christian, I believe that whatever I have on earth, I am just but a steward. So the church in Matero invited me for a worship and then they introduced a problem in building and I had offered to say as a Christian, 10 percent of your investment, I will be contributing and if the 10 percent translated to K18, 000, if it will take me 18 months, if I will be paying K1,000 until I honour my pledge to God, that I will do without fail,” said Chitotela.
It is not to buy the church [but] it is my personal conviction because I know as a Christian that naked I came, naked I will go. And I have said I have not come to politics to insult or to create enmity, I have come to repent because I was almost becoming a pastor. Those who know me know that it is God that has led me this far. Even in parliament, ask UPND brothers, I am the president of Adventists in parliament and majority of them are my UPND brothers,” said Chitotela.