Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba says he made a mistake by pushing Edgar Lungu to become Republican President after realising that he does not befit the Office of the Head of State.
And Kalaba has admitted that he used to eat meals with the Presdient, but denied ever engaging in corruption together.
Speaking when he featured on Joy FM, Tuesday, Kalaba said President Lungu does not befit the position of Head of State.
“I have made my own mistake and I must admit on this radio programme that I have made my own mistakes, but my goodness is that once I realise my mistake, I will correct it without shame. When I realised that I made a mistake to push, with due respect, our Republican President because ‘cilya icifulo, from what I have seen now, tacabalinga!’ (that position does not befit him!) Because we would have seen him rise up and sort out all these challenges we are seeing, but he is doing nothing, because he doesn’t know where to touch. So, the best is to create by-elections and be seen to be busy. After that, go back to State House and sit. Kalaba Harry is coming in 2021 and you will see that we have a leader,” the former Foreign Affairs minister said.
He explained that he was not part of the corrupt deals, which the Head of State was involved in.
“The issue of saying: ‘Kalaba, we ate with him, we ate with him what? I am not part of those who are getting money from the shipment of crude oil; I am not part of them! They know who they are eating with when they exaggerated prices for road projects, when they overprice different contracts; I am not part of that! But if he means sharing a cup of coffee with him, on that, the President is very generous I can tell you that. He would usually come and ask for me to eat with him. But I am saying if it is those deals he is involved in, getting kickbacks from crude oil procurement, I am not involved in those things and that’s why I resigned,” Kalaba explained.
He also insisted that President Lungu was lying when he said Bahati was not developed because of him.
“In Bahati, I told them that when I become MP, my allowance from Parliament will be yours. I didn’t change on that principle; I did that through and through until I left Parliament. When you go to Bahati, don’t listen to those rantings that you are listening to, young boys and girls have barbershops and saloons using the money I was giving them. That’s why when I resigned as Minister, you saw the way they welcomed me in Bahati! The entire structures in Bahati followed me; they refused to work with the PF! So, if I didn’t perform, why did all these people follow me?” Kalaba wondered.
“That’s why you are seeing all this venom: ‘no Kalaba did not do this, no Kalaba what…no, forgive me…’ that’s what happens when you are an absentee landlord, you don’t even know what is happening because you go to Luapula once in two years to solicit for votes! And you just talk because they have told you. Governance requires you to be hands-on because it’s embarrassing for a leader to go in a place and speak falsities without knowing what’s going on the ground. Because the people you are talking to, they know what’s happening, they know that out of the 59 polling stations, mention one where Harry Kalaba has not left his footprint. Maybe there are some projects that are not completed because I am only human. I can tell you that people in Bahati will tell you that maybe in the next 100 years, they will never see an MP like me because an MP like this one comes once in a life time.”
And Kalaba urged his former Bahati constituents to reject the PF in Thursday’s polls.
“Don’t listen to those who don’t have a vision, those who are saying ‘Kalaba has failed!’ As we speak, some farmers even in Bahati have not been paid by FRA (Food Reserve Agency), but Lungu has bought himself a jet worth US$100 million! And then he comes and is telling you: ‘Kalaba tabombele munjeleleko’ so why didn’t you take that $100 million to help the people of Bahati? And you expect the people of Bahati to vote for him? You can’t vote for a party like that! And show them starting on Thursday that you are not voting for PF, tell them that for us, PF it’s ‘bye-bye, we are waiting for Kalaba.’ I will not tell you who to vote for, but I will tell you who not to vote for, don’t vote for PF!”