Lusaka District UPND chairman Obvious Mwaliteta says government should not threaten those questioning the alleged sale of ZAFFICO but instead explain the correct position, arguing that citizens have a duty to hold leaders accountable.
And Mwaliteta has challenged the investigative wings to arrest him if alleging that ZNBC and ZAFFICO have been sold is a crime.
Mwaliteta was commenting on declarations made by Eastern Province Minister, Lusaka Province and Chief Government Spokesperson; Makebi Zulu, Bowman Lusambo and Dora Siliya, respectively, who recently pledged to give up their ministerial positions if Hichilema produced evidence that the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) had been sold.
“Honourable Makebi Zulu, Hon. Dora Siliya and Hon. Bowman Lusambo should first look at where they are coming from. They are not coming from PF; they don’t even understand the PF manifesto of lower taxes, more jobs and more money in people’s pockets. They are MMD…and now, it’s like the PF have realised that these guys who have come from MMD are confusing the policies of the Patriotic Front. This is why, now, they want to please their master by challenging my president, HH. But I want to tell them that there is no need for HH to produce evidence because the evidence is there. If you, the government officials, you are saying that you want to offload shares, you want to sell shares. Unless if you are saying that you are giving out shares, then that’s not selling. But if you are going to sell even one per cent or two then you are selling,” Mwaliteta insisted.
“If they (PF) haven’t sold any shares in ZNBC then they should come and arrest me. We want to challenge them that they should have resigned the time when the fire tenders where bought at US $1 million, They should have resigned when they bought the ambulances at that price; that was evidence enough. It’s evidence that there are no medicines in the hospitals today, that today, even in universities, students are struggling to get their allowances. It is evidence enough that today when you look around, the poverty levels are too high and people are struggling to have three meals a day. There is evidence enough because up to-date there is no fertiliser to give the peasant farmers, and we are in November. So, can they resign on those issues, which are more important than the politics they are doing to try and please their master.”
Mwaliteta wondered why government was becoming too aggressive when questioned about the alleged sale of national assets, instead of just clarifying the queries.
“If you list your property on the stock market, is it not for someone to get some shares? When you list something on the stock exchange, you are inviting other businessmen to get some shares. So, you are selling some shares. So, I don’t know when we are saying that the shares they sold in ZNBC is as good as the shares they want to sell in ZAFFICO. They are challenging HH over ZNBC, [but] what is TopStar doing in ZNBC? They should not play undercover; they should not take Zambians for granted. Zambians know everything that is happening. In fact, they (PF) have become very unpopular because they are not being truthful. If at all they wanted, they should have just explained to Zambians what exactly it is they are planning to do with ZAFFICO by listing it on stock exchange,” said Mwaliteta.
“What will be the benefit for the Zambian people, who are the owners of that company? That is what they are supposed to do; they are not supposed to start hiding and threatening people to start hiding because they have the power to arrest people. For how long are you going to arrest us? You are not going to keep on threatening people, our job as the opposition is to offer checks and balances. So, if they are not going to give us room to question whatever they are doing in fear that they will arrest you.”