NDC national youth chairman Charles Kabwita says Copperbelt PF chairman Nathan Chanda is using his political influence to interfere with various investigations against his party members involved in mealie-meal smuggling.
But Chanda says he will be undermining himself if he responded to Kabwita’s allegations, saying he is too senior to argue with the opposition youth leader.
Speaking in an interview, Kabwita charged that police on the Copperblt were failing to professionally investigate some PF councillors involved in the smuggling of mealie-meal because of interference from Chanda’s office.
“I have five allegations that have come forth to my office as national youth chairman for NDC. Number one is that councillor Osward Himoonga of Kamba ward in Chifubu constituency was arrested on allegation that he was smuggling mealie meal in Ndola and due to political influence from the provincial chairman for Copperbelt Nathan Chanda, the man was yesterday released. And the second allegation is that in Ndola, the district youth chairman his truck was impounded in Kitwe on allegations that he was smuggling mealie meal and the police in Kitwe are failing to adequately investigate these issue because of political interference from the office of Nathan Chanda,” Kabwita alleged.
“We have another allegation leading to fraud in Chingola where it is allegedly that councillor Charles Musonda has a fake Grade 12 certificate the residents have reported this matter to police and to the town clerk but nothing has been done. This is all because Nathan Chanda has been poking his nose in this investigation of fraud. The certificate of councillor Charles Musonda was certified by the Magistrate contrary to the procedure of having a Grade 12 certificate certified by the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ).”
He further said Chanda, using his political influence, subcontracted himself to a named water utility company to be supplying sand, a job which he feels should have been given to the youths.
“The other allegation is that Nathan Chanda himself as the provincial chairman for Copperbelt has been given a ten per cent sub contract in Kafulafuta. There is a project which is being undertaken by Kafubu Water and Sewerage dubbed “Kafulafuta project” he is supplying sand at the expense of the residents of Kafulafuta. The residents have appealed to my office that I speak for them and find out how Nathan Chanda was given this ten per cent contract at the expense of the poor residents of Kafulafuta who also tendered and followed all the laid down procedures of tender. So they feel Nathan Chanda is using his office to acquire anything that is government related,” charged Kabwita.
“Last but not the least, we are also concerned as youths on the Copperbelt that Black Mountain is only benefiting these in the Patriotic Front (PF) who are on Patriotic Front structures. And this perceived to be opposition cannot even go near Black Mountain. We see trucks for ministers loading material and being sold, we see trucks connected with offices of district commissioners ferrying material to where we don’t know, we see youths from various structures of the PF here in Kitwe going at Black Mountain to work and get a benefit at the expense of the majority poor youths on the Copperbelt.”
But when contacted, Chanda said he would be undermining himself if he responded to Kabwita’s allegations.
“If I failed to respond to the consultant of the NDC honourable Chishimba Kambwili that only my ward chairman can respond to him, who is Charles Kabwita for me to respond to? Kabwita can only be responded to by a section chairman. So with that respect I may only be able to issue a statement which is comprehensive to deal with whoever maybe suspected to be masquerading as PF and doing anything illegal. But I cannot discuss Kabwita myself [because] I am too senior, I will be lowering my position,” said Kabwita.