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PF taking advantage of weak opposition – KambwiliBy Mirriam Chabala on 24 May 2018
NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili says Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo is glorifying AVIC International because he is a kaponya who enjoys getting cuts from the firm.
And Kambwili says the PF has taken advantage of Zambians for too long due to lack of a strong opposition political formation that can raise the real issue like he is doing..
Commenting on Lusaka Province Minister Bowman’s Lusambo’s remarks that the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) was fulfilling the PF vision in Zambia through its works, Kambwili said it was understandable that the minister could defend the work of AVIC in the manner he did because the company was a conduit for PF’s corruption.
“AVIC International is a conduit of corruption for Edgar Lungu’s PF government and people like Bowman would not see anything wrong in that. Only people who are free of corruption will see something wrong with AVIC. Do you know what has happened to AVIC? They were given a contract to build some houses by President Michael Sata after tendering for the works, thereafter, every time they want to build some houses they give it to AVIC without tendering. How do you praise such a company? How do you praise a company that is given jobs to build houses for the military, the police, without tendering? And surely, the jobs that AVIC does, are you telling me that there is no Zambian contractor that can do those jobs? AVIC is a conduit for corruption and the corrupt people will always praise them,” Kambwili said.
“If you go to the sites where AVIC works, employees have no PPE (personal protective equipments). You will find some employees working on the road construction with canvas and when you look at the kind of lunch that they give to employees… so it is disappointing for a minister. But then you should forgive these ministers because some of them are Kaponyas (call-boys). That one (Lusambo) is a Kaponya minister. So for him everything is alright as long as he is getting his cut. But they should know that time for reckoning will come and it is very soon. And me I have warned AVIC, they should not even attempt to run away because they will pay for the corruption that they are doing with the current PF administration.”
Kambwii charged that there was nothing that AVIC international was doing which Zambian contractors could not do.
“The people who did the roads on the Copperbelt are all Zambian contractors. They have done a good job and the roads are still intact. We had Buildcon, we had the another company in Lusaka and several others which were Zambian. But the same road, same quality you go and give a Chinese contractor, what are you telling us? It’s corruption. And by the way, when you pay AVIC, they will take the money to China but when you pay the Zambian contractor, they will invest the money here. So aba ba PF bakesa londolola (these PF people will come and explain). They must know that every step they are taking we are watching. This government is a disaster, there is no money in circulation, the only people who can see money is Bowman. That’s why he can praise AVIC so that tomorrow he can go back and tell them to give him some more money extra,” Kambwili said.
“Look at what they’ve done to the Copperbelt C400, they’ve given it to one contractor AVIC and the other 400 has been given to another contractor China Henan. I was watching TV yesterday they were saying the project is going to take four years. But when we came into power with Mr Sata, the roads on the Copperbelt were given to six different contractors and they took only 18 months to finish. In Luanshya we had a different contractor, Ndola we had a different contractor. Even in Kitwe, Kalulushi and other towns. And the jobs were completed on time. But look at corrupt governments, all the projects have been given to one contractor and they will take four years. What nonsense is that?”
Kambwili, who is also Roan PF member of parliament, said Lusambo had become so rich he could afford to frequently fly from Lusaka to his constituency in Kabushi.
“Can you imagine that Bowman today is able to transport cadres from Lusaka to the Copperbelt for his meetings by plane? 20, 30 cadres on the plane. Can you afford that from a minister’s salary? You know what it means, you know why he can praise AVIC. Carrying cadres paid for by him to his constituency. Tell him we are seeing these things and we are watching them, so Lusambo should keep on praising AVIC for their nonsense but I can rest assure you that they will pay,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kambwili said he would continue telling Zambians about corrupt activities in the PF government, as various parties contend for the Lusaka district Mayoral seat following the death of Wilson Kalumba.
“The problem is that there have always been no politicians to tell citizens what is happening. But for now, it is a different ball game altogether. We shall explain, that’s why we are there. Some of us are there to explain for the people to understand. People have been taken advantage of for far too long because there are no politicians to tell them the reality. The politicians that we have talk about things that are out of this world. Michael Sata was a great politician because he used to tell people the reality on the ground. The politicians need to learn now to talk about something else, you go and start wasting time talking about whether Lungu is a Zambian or not, what difference will that have on the electorate?” asked Kambwili.
“Go and tell the electorate ‘you have been removed from the streets while these are stealing so that you don’t have anything to feed your children on. These people will bring you back on the streets temporarily and then after elections [in 2021] they will chase you out’. Tell the people how PF has broken the law. In Lusaka during the Mayoral elections, we will tell the people the truth. Those who sale fritters outside their gates, it’s illegal under the PF government because they’ve done a Statutory Instrument to ban that and if they find you selling vitumbuwa or ifyumbu (fritters or sweet potatoes) outside your yard, they will take you to court and you will be jailed. They’ve even established a fast-track court for such things. So how do they expect people to feed their families? This is what we should be telling the people. But when you hear Zambian politicians talk, they talk about things that don’t matter. But as long as I am there, we will explain to the people things about reality and once you tell people things on the reality, they will understand. It will be a very different ballgame altogether in 2021.”
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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