Lunte PF member of parliament Mutowe Kafwaya says it was unfair to Zambians that the US$42m fire tenders were insured at a cost of US$250, 000 each when they were procured at US$1 million.
And Kafwaya says UPND cannot run a country because they have failed to run their party.
Speaking when he featured on Radio Christian Voice’s Chat Back programme yesterday, Kafwaya said the insurance should have been at least one million, or even more.
“I comment on this issue based on the information on social media. It is an important issue and I must take an interest to look at the actual documents. If the fire truck were procured for US$1m each, and then people went on to insure them for US$250, 000, I would think that is a serious mistake. That’s what I would consider. Because the risk is still the US$1m to the Zambian people. The risk for that one fire truck is still US$1m to the Zambian people. So, the insurance should have been one million or more. You have to understand that you are dealing with a government system here. Which government system determines numerous things based on numerous perimeters? I don’t know the capacity of local government at the time of that undertaking. Maybe they should have gone into debt. They should have just encored a debt on the insurance aspect. And I’m just saying generally because I really don’t know these numbers. I am being speculative. These numbers I cannot confirm,” Kafwaya said.
He expressed concern that although President Lungu ordered an inquiry into the procurement of fire truck, to date there has been no outcome.
“I have liked the fact that what this thing came to the president’s attention for the first time, he called for an investigation. But what I don’t like, is the fact that that investigation has not produces any results so far for the Zambian people to know. What you need is to respond to these calls. The issue of fire trucks is an important one. We have to come to the end of this issue. I think this issue cannot protract, as if Zambia is all about US$42 million fire trucks. No, we are bout so many things. But one issue cannot drain the country this much. This issue has been a thorn. I think those who are called to investigate should actually come to the aid of the country by giving us information.”
And Kafwaya said it was impossible to run a country with a ten point plan, like the UPND has.
“The political party we consider as an alternative which is UPND they have got no manifesto. They have had no manifesto since their first one which was developed by their late president. Ten point plan? You can’t run a country with those points. That is when you are likely to see haphazardness of the highest order. Because there will be no direction. I can assure you. Absolutely no direction. Because if running just a political party which is not even in power becomes difficoult; you have failed to produce a manifesto, will you be able to produce a policy?” he asked.
Meanwhile, Kafwaya said PF was still a pro-poor party, but claimed that the country’s population had grown, thereby making it impossible for government to absorb the numbers.
“I think and I believe that PF is still extremely pro-poor. The reason we the Zambian people are poor is because we can’t get jobs. It’s because we can’t get health services. Because our educational opportunities are limited. Those are the problems we have because that denies the young ones to gain education. Those are the problems that bring our country the poverty we don’t want. The critical issue is that we don’t have the capacity to absorb the numbers. Because population has grown. The economy does not have the capacity to absorb all the Zambian people. Because our structures have remained constant whereas the population has been growing. So, if UTH has remained the same from the time it was constructed, but yet Lusaka had 600, 000 people and now they are more than four million people. UTH cannot handle; so what do you do to make sure that that service is still of the same quality as in 1964? You construct Levy turn these clinics into hospitals. To do that requires finances,” said Kafwaya.
“When you expand infrastructure you are broadening the scope for people to get jobs. You are broadening the scope for people to get services. So, when a government says lets construct infrastructure and throughout this process of constructing infrastructure we need to bring everybody on board, all of the taxes that are in the law should be contributed to government so that government can have more money to expand this infrastructure. How then can you say this is not pro-poor? Because the services that will be generated from the infrastructure that is being expanded is benefiting those who want the services. And it is us the poor people.”