Mbabala UPND member of parliament Ephraim Belemu says if anyone looted during the privatization process, it was those who were in the Movement for Multiparty Democracy.
Recently, Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo charged that there were looters in the opposition who were waiting to get into government to steal the way they did during the privatization process.
But in an interview, Belemu said if anyone stole during privatisation, it was MMD members because they were in power.
“Mr Bowman Lusambo, not too long ago, he was in MMD where he was a ‘die hard’ and that privatization programme was an MMD programme where Mr Lusambo was ‘die hard.’ So, if there are people that looted, it must have been them in MMD. Records will show that our president, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, was not anywhere near Cabinet positions or parliamentary positions at the time. He was not in any political office, he was a private citizen who was running a private life with his own private engagements in business. So, as a government then, MMD, where Mr Lusambo came from, if they had a programme of privitization and people ended up looting, its them actually who should be accountable. And most of the people who were in MMD are not dead, so it’s them to tell us exactly what transpired,” Belemu said.
He said Lusambo was being mischievous and untruthful, arguing that government would have already taken legal action against the UPND leader if he really stole anything in the 1990s.
“Those are just last kicks of a dying horse! I am sure you will recall that not so long ago, Mr Lusambo was crying that the PF elections on the Copperbelt were a sham! So, it tells you exactly who they are as PF and this is something that we as UPND do not want to waste time on. We have a programme and our programme is to liberate this country from the malaise that the PF has led us into. So, those are just time wasting statements and also very strange that a government minister can waste his time to go on radio to go and spend his precious time when he’s supposed to be doing government work, to go on radio just to malign a private citizen and say something, which is not factual,” Belemu said.
“In a civilized government, when a minister speaks, it’s policy and it’s also informed by a research and facts. Just misinforming, lying or not telling the truth calls for resignation of a minister or indeed that government. So, they cannot continue to use false statements as government. They have all the institutions of government that can help them, including ZCCM, the police and all the other investigative wings so that when they are talking, it must come out of facts, as opposed to just yapping and talking in the manner that they are doing.”
Belemu challenged the PF to take the privatization issue to the dialogue table so that it could be resolved rather than making “baseless” statements on radio programmes.
“As a party, by now I am sure they know who we are and we have demonstrated time and again that we are above such kind of shallowness and childish arguments. They have also known who our president is and we continue to tell the Zambian people the truth about who PF is because we have experienced, some of us who are in Parliament with them. We also have experience of being in the UPND and I am sure Zambians by now are able to make an informed decision of who is who in our political level. Instead of going to a radio station to talk, why didn’t they go to the meeting that was organised by the Church? If their contention is about HH having participated in privatization, why didn’t they go to the national dialogue table instead of running away and they want to run to radio stations…real men, real leaders had a platform to go and talk those issues. Is those are the issues that affect them as PF, they had a platform to go and talk about them if they didn’t want to go to court or police,” said Belemu.