Kabwe Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube has advised players in the upcoming national political dialogue to shelve the talks, charging that it is a waste of time and the country’s resources.
And Ngulube says some members of the PF have deliberately chosen to misunderstand his position in the party simply because they do not want to hear the truth.
Meanwhile, Ngulube says officers at Medical Stores Limited who allowed the theft of drugs worth over US $1 million must be disciplined and prosecuted for negligence.
Speaking when he featured on UNZA radio’s Lusaka Star Magazine Show yesterday, Ngulube said the much-talked about dialogue needed to be shelved because there was too much bickering, which was not yielding any results.
“Zambia is a very beautiful country, but sometimes, I think our levels of education are so high that we even fail to solve the simplest of problems. In most instances, you find people arguing just about who should chair the dialogue. One year goes [by], just arguing about who should chair the dialogue process. And sometimes you start arguing about what will be the topic of discussion and another two years will elapse. When you agree about the topic, then the next thing will be you start arguing about the venue. So, I think sometimes we need simplicity in order to solve problems. There is too much bickering I can say. I can [tell] you that even this dialogue process they are talking about is unnecessary, it’s a waste of resources and time. Let government concentrate on development, lobbying from the supporters of government. Because if we continue talking…2016 we were talking about dialogue, 2017 we were talking about dialogue, and this is 2018, and we are still talking about dialogue,” Ngulube said.
“In the whole three years, we have not agreed on what the topic of discussion will be; who will chair the discussion and the venue. So, we have wasted two years discussing dialogue, and we are not getting anywhere. So, why not shelve it? Abandon it, with or without dialogue, Zambia will remain Zambia. Food will not come on the table because there is dialogue, people must go and work to put food on their table. The drainages will not be cleaned by dialogue; the garbage will not be collected by dialogue. And people should not blindfold government thinking that if there is no dialogue, then there will be no peace. We have our soldiers and police officers to take care of us. So, the issue of dialogue, the way I look at it myself, the UPND have said they will not participate in dialogue, so whom are we going to dialogue with? Because the dialogue is a discussion by two sides. Government and the opposition. So, if the main opposition party pulls out of the dialogue processes like President Sata did in 2011, and 2009 he pulled out of the dialogue process with the MMD. Did anything stop? Nothing, the PF boycotted a lot of things to put pressure on government. So the UPND have boycotted the process so why should we continue pushing the agenda and for whose benefits? So, for me, I think that it’s pointless, it’s [an] unnecessary of waste time.”
He insisted that Zambia did need dialogue to foster development.
“Zambia should shy away from the bickering that is happening on social media. The people now don’t want to test the waters. President Lungu has a lot of mammoth responsibilities, and so does Hakainde Hichilema, so HH is supposed to hold the government accountable for what they are not doing, the President should also be working tirelessly with the Ministers to deliver what they promised the people. So, if we get President [Lungu] and Hakainde Hichilema, put them in a corner for one week, they are just talking are we helping this nation? We are not helping this nation. So, I think in my view the dialogue process is a waste of time and resources and if anything, the people who asking for dialogue must tell us what they want to discuss and what they intend to achieve,” Ngulube urged.
Asked what his current standing with party was following the numerous misunderstandings that he had been through with other party members, Ngulube said some members of PF had deliberately chosen to misunderstand him to “shield their failures.”
“My current standing with the party is very good. The party has actually appreciated a number of things that we have done and said. Of course, there are people who always want to sentimentalize everything, they want to make dust out of smoke and they want to force matters. When someone makes a full paragraph of a statement, they will only pick one line and expand it. Some people have deliberately chosen to misunderstand what I say. What I say is correct, for example, when I said we are not doing very well in terms of promises, what offence did I commit? And when I said, we appear like we lied to the people or we are not forcing development on the people or we need this institution to be reopened or a lot of people are suffering. That is the job of a member of parliament. Because when you are elected, you go on oath and say: ‘I promise to defend the people as well as the Constitution, and I will bear true allegiance to the President of Zambia, so help me God’. So, it means I must remain true to the oath. But if am going to be telling lies, I pretend my people are not suffering, these institutions are doing well, then I am putting a blanket on the fire,” he observed.
“And when you put a blanket over the fire, it will get consumed in the fire. So, why not put out the fire then put on the blanket? Maybe, it’s because of my training as a lawyer, and the studies I did here at the University of Zambia when I graduated in 2004 in the School of Law. In most instances, we fail to tell lies, especially myself, I did philosophy and legal studies so I find it very difficult to lie. That’s why I find it very hard to lie to the people. I would rather be castigated for telling the truth than be castigated for telling lies.”
Meanwhile, Ngulube said officers at t Medical Stores warehouse who allowed the theft of medical drugs, among other items, worth over US $1 million must be disciplined and prosecuted for negligence.
“It’s unfortunate if drugs have been stolen [at Medical Stores] to the tune of US $1 million. I only heard this thing in the media when they said government must refund the cooperating partners and Global Fund. But it’s like when there is a break-in and computers are stolen here at the University of Zambia, you can’t say the University has stolen computers. Of course, the people at Medical Stores who were negligent to allow the medicine be stolen must be disciplined and prosecuted like what happened at the Ministry Health where people were prosecuted, others sent to jail and others acquitted. What we need is to protect monies coming from cooperating partners like Global Fund. Because if all drugs are being stolen, in future, we will have nobody to help the government buy drugs,” said Ngulube.