We have visionless politicians in this country who just want to go to State House so that they can continue looting the way they looted in the 1990s, says Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo.

Meanwhile, Lusambo says Zambia’s economy is doing fine as can be seen by the number of citizens who are taking their children to private schools in Lusaka Province.

In an apparent reference to UPND president Hakainde Hichilema, Lusambo advised Zambians when he featured on Hot FM’s Hot Seat programme not to entertain some people to get into leadership, saying they were criminals who stole from them during the privatization process in the early 1990s.

“We have visionless politicians in this country who just want to go to State House so that they can continue looting the way they looted in the 1990s. The way they stripped off rail lines on the Copperbelt Province; the way they connived with the buyers of the mines so that they could also benefit from the privatization process. So, for us as people who are in the driving seat, in the PF, it takes us aback when we see people who had no vision for this country wanting to champion as if they can do better than what is His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu and his team are doing. But I can assure you that there is no opposition today, which can claim that they are better than the Edgar Chagwa Lungu team,” Lusambo argued.

“Some of the people in the opposition, his Excellency gave them chance to be ministers, but they failed to deliver to the expectation of the people of Zambia and they are out there insulting the President that he has failed. Some of them, the people of Zambia entrusted them to administer the privatization process but what happened? The people who were walking bare-footed overnight became the billionaires of this country, and today, they are even championing that they are businessmen! But they are not businessmen, those are criminals! They are criminals who have stolen from the people of Zambia and they want to come with stolen money to come and fool the people of Zambia. I want you to know that not all thieves are behind bars.”

Lusambo added that one does not necessarily have to be in government in order to help the people of a country they claim to love.

“As a patriotic Zambian, you have to work with the government of the day in order to better the lives of the people. Not when you have looted this country and then you came and say: ‘no, I was just hired as a consultant’, wait a minute, you are a Zambian before that position as a consultant. If you have seen that there is something which is going wrong, as a patriotic Zambian, you should come to the leadership and say: ‘guys, we are not moving well and as a consultant I have seen the loophole. These mines, the way we want to dispose them we are not doing it in the right way and at the end of the day, the people of Zambia will suffer.’ But if you’ve seen the loophole or an opportunity for you to enrich yourself, we can call you a criminal! Those people have enriched themselves because they’re some weaknesses somewhere when they were doing privatization and there are no better ways to describe, they are criminals because they have looted from the people of Zambia!” Lusambo insisted.

He further said the recent reshuffles made by President Lungu at Permanent Secretary level was a wake-up to all ministers and civil servants.

“This is actually a challenge to us from the Office of the President, which is not supposed to be the case. When the Office of the President and the President himself come out the way he did, it is a warning and a wake-up call for all of us as ministers, Permanent Secretaries, District Commissioners and the civil service as well. We need to up our game, we need to make sure that we deliver to the expectation of the people. This President you see in State House is a President who has a plan beyond his tenure and the people who will come after him will testify that this President loved this country so much,” he added.

Lusambo, who is also Kabushi PF constituency member of parliament said he would work with the new provincial party leadership.

“I was born a democrat and I have maintained my path as a democrat and in democracy, the best team and the best candidate wins. The candidate who won in that particular election, which we had on the Copperbelt, democracy prevailed and I congratulated the winner and the entire executive, bearing in mind that, yes, I was supporting a particular candidate, but the people spoke and they gave us a candidate for the Province. So, I will work with the new executive because that is what the people wanted, and I can assure you that I will really work with them. Because I will be doing a disservice to the President to ignore the fact that we have a new executive in place. For me, I am here to work with everybody,” Lusambo said.

He also warned that those putting up illegal structures in Lusaka Province would be dealt with.

“We are going to demolish all the illegal structures and we will follow the officers to verify any signature on the title deeds for all illegal structures. If those officers are still at Lusaka City Council, we will fire them through our systems! If they are at Local Government, we will fire them! If they have been transferred, wherever they have gone, we will follow them, we will recall them and flush them out of the system because you can never transfer a problem! When they have failed in Lusaka, they can’t go and work in Ndola. A failure is a failure, whether you move him from one place to another, if he’s not a performer, he’s not a performer,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lusambo claimed that Zambia’s economy was doing well as evidenced by the number of Zambians able to send their children to expensive schools.

“I will pick you up one morning and take you to Nkwanzi, I will take you to Lusaka International School, I will take you to Chinese International School and to all private schools within Lusaka, and I want you to know how many Zambians are taking their children to private schools, that tells you that our economy is doing well because people are managing to take their children to private schools and they are paying,” argued Lusambo.