Vice-President Inonge Wina says she is not aware that Central Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kabwe has been distributing President Edgar Lungu-branded books to pupils.
Responding to a question from Monze UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu who wanted to know why the ruling party had embarked on the distribution of campaign materials countrywide so early with the involvement of civil servants, Wina said she was not aware of such a development.
“Mr Speaker, you may be aware that the PF have started distributing campaign materials in various parts of the country. One of the campaign materials that they are distributing are school exercise books which have a portrait of [President Edgar] Lungu and the PF logo on them. Last week, the Permanent Secretary for Central Province, Mr Chanda Kabwe was in Shibuyinji district in Lusaka Province where he was distributing these exercise books. As he was distributing the books, he was urging the people of Shibuyunji to ensure that they vote for Edgar Lungu in the next elections. And that the children when they grow up in 2021, they should also vote for Edgar Chagwa Lungu and the PF. Mr speaker, the rules and the constitution of this country do not allow civil servants to engage in partisan politics. You can’t be distributing campaign materials in schools, that’s not allowed. I want to find out from her honour the Vice-President, has the policy of the PF government changed arising from what is happening now?” asked Mwiimbu.
But in response, the Vice-President expressed ignorance of the distribution of books bearing a portrait of the Head of State, adding that civil servants were not expected to participate in politics.
“Mr Speaker, I am not aware of the occasion that the member of parliament for Monze central is referring to where Mr [Chanda] Kabwe was distributing the books in Shibuyunji. And that I can bet that I am not aware that this happened and that there are books being distributed by civil servants. And for all I know Mr Speaker, there are no party cadres in the civil service. So we do not expect civil servants to participate in politics because their job is to serve the government of the day. Any government that will come in place in this country, the civil servants are liable to serving that system until they retire from the civil service,” Vice-President Wina said.
Meanwhile, Vice-President Wina claimed the e-voucher system had been a success from the time it was implemented.
“Mr Speaker the e-voucher system has been a success. One million farmers were targeted to benefit from the programme. Out of the one million farmers, over seven hundred thousand have benefited and quite a number of farmers have deposited their K400 for further inclusion on the programme. We have said several times in the House that this was the first time that this programme was rolled on a wide scale and definitely, there have to be some hiccups and some obstacles here and there in the implementation of the programme. But I can assure the House that this programme will continue and will just ensure that we correct the processes that went wrong in this past season. So Mr Speaker, I can claim that the e-voucher system is good and is going to help Zambian farmers as we roll it out throughout the country,” said Wina in response to a question from Lufwayanyama UPND member of parliament Leonard Fungulwe who wanted to know whether or not government had failed to manage the e-voucher system.