Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba says time will come for him to present overwhelming evidence of corruption against President Edgar Lungu and other government officials who are getting kickbacks in the procurement deals.
And Kalaba says President Lungu is spending so much time talking about him in Bahati despite his party not contesting in the by-election because he is a force to reckon with.
Last week, President Lungu told Bahati residents that he used to eat with Kalaba but their former member of parliament never raised any corruption allegations.
He also challenged Kalaba to report the corruption cases he had been alleging to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
But in a statement, Kalaba insisted that government officials were corrupt and he would present evidence at the right time.
“How many evidences do you want to be presented for you to be satisfied? I think the Zambian public will not be hoodwinked by those politics, they know what is happening, they know that there is a lot of corruption going on in the PF regime, they know that an expensive jet has been procured and somebody has gotten some kickbacks, they know that somebody is getting some money from the crude oil. Every shipment of crude oil, somebody at the very highest level is getting some kickbacks. Zambian people know and when time to present that evidence comes, it will come. In Ecclesiasts we are told that everything happens according to seasons, right now it might be difficult to present that evidence because it will be thwarted,” Kalaba said.
“And what about the law enforcement agencies themselves, even when they try to present issues they are being frustrated, so I am not going to play those politics and all those semantics of ‘bring the evidence and then stop talking if you can’t bring the evidence.’ Time will come, tell them, be patient; time is coming when that evidence will be overwhelming!”
The former Foreign Affairs Minister said he would not practice trivial politics of character assassination like President Lungu was doing.
“The President, with all due respect, I am not going to play his politics and I refuse to be dragged in his politics. As I have repeatedly said, I am not going to engage in the cheap politics of untruths and character assassination like President Lungu and the team are doing in Bahati and everywhere he is going. Such a trivial approach to politics is what has brought us to where we are,” Kalaba said.
And Kalaba said President Lungu was spending so much time talking about him in Bahati despite his party not contesting in the by-election because he was a force to reckon with.
“I take note that in Bahati I am the topic, we have not fielded anybody, we have not endorsed anybody, but Harry Kalaba is still the topic in Bahati constituency. That tells you that we are a force to reckon with. That without Kalaba there would be nothing they would talk about in Bahati constituency. Go to the 59 polling stations in Bahati constituency, you will see the footprints of Harry Kalaba. So I am here, but my shadow is fighting them too much there and what more if I had endorsed anybody? But I am not going to play those politics, for me, whoever wins will be. But they would do well to explain what they would do for the people, if Harry has failed, tell the people what you are going to do than telling the people ‘no, he was pompous, he was working alone,’” Kalaba said.
“And by the way, they said ‘oh, he was not going to consult other ministers for development; with due respect to the President, he must read his governance manual very well! That’s why it’s good to have been in the civil service like I was, understand how governance works. There are planning departments in every ministry and those are the ones who put the budgets together and then they present them to Parliament, and then there is what they call yellow book, programs are funded according to the yellow book. And so for someone to tell you that ‘no, you should talked to the minister of infrastructure to give you a road, that’s a lie! It doesn’t work like that in governance and I am standing on very firm grounds because I have been doing administration for long time. If someone tells you that, then you know that there is nothing happening, they don’t know whether they are coming or going.”
Meanwhile, Kalaba said President Lungu was leading a lavish lifestyle whilst expecting the rest of citizens to sacrifice by observing austerity measures.
“We have a bankrupt treasury, yet President Lungu refuses to accept the inevitable reality and further refuses to conform his lifestyle to the budget. They have instituted austerity measures but they themselves are exempt from these measures. Leadership is humility; leadership is sacrifice and dying for your people. President Lungu does not have a heart for that. He believes you and I should sacrifice while he continues basking in a high level life beyond what any president in the region including the Western countries engage in,” Kalaba said.
Kalaba also condemned the closure of Copperbelt University, arguing that the move would affect the delivery of quality education in the country.
“The closure of the Copperbelt University is unfortunate, uncalled for and very costly to the country. It is affecting the standards and quality of education and the products of the education system. A responsible leadership could have addressed the root cause of the problem. The superficial remedial measures of closing universities and issuing threats do not offer sustainable solutions,” said Kalaba.