National Democratic Congress (NDC) secretary general Mwenya Musenge has warned the PF government that Zambians will not spare them for making critical decisions such as the purchase of expensive aircraft without engaging them.
This follows an announcement by Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary Stardy Mwale that the Ministry, through the Zambia Air Force (ZAF), purchased five planes and explained that one of the planes would be used for VVIPs, one for maintaining airspace and monitor poaching, while the other three would be used for commercial purposes.
Mwale, however, rubbished the Africa Confidential exposé, which revealed that the Zambian government had gotten a US $400 million loan to procure an anti-missile VIP jet for the Head of State, but admitted that the defence modernisation committee had been investing in the latest military aircrafts to replace the old fleet.
But in an interview, Musenge warned that Zambians will not spare the PF for going ahead in purchasing extravagant aircrafts without seeking approval from the masses.
“It was a misplaced thought and a misplaced priority and I think on this one, government has missed it. If they purchased them, they have probably gotten a loan to purchase those planes. The truth of the matter is that the Zambian people will not spare them for doing that because they have just exhibited huge levels of arrogance towards their masters who happen to be the Zambian people who elected them. And, definitely, 2021 is not very far, they may exercise so much power and think they are masters over their masters, but time will soon catch up with them,” Musenge warned.
He observed that government had misplaced priorities.
“You know, the problem that we have is when you have leaders who think that they were just elected for themselves and forget that they are answerable to the people that elected them. The problem that we are experiencing as a nation has been because those who know that they should be in government have opted not to engage their masters who happen to be the Zambian people in very important decisions that they make. For example, the purchase of the five air planes that we are hearing about, the purchase of a jet for the President and those other jets for ZAF. We are in a very difficult economic situation where our current leaders who are purchasing such expensive machines are calling for austerity measures of managing the country. How do you expect the Zambian people to support you?” wondered Musenge.
“On one side, you are saying, ‘things are not okay’ and then on the other side, you continue contracting huge debts on behalf of the Zambian people and yet we all know that such debts will affect the majority of the Zambian people, including the unborn children. So, for me, government has not performed very well and the purchase of those aircrafts needs serious consideration. If anything, they need to be cancelled. You need to inform the Zambians to say, ‘we are doing this, we feel this is extremely important for two reasons.”