Governance activist Brebner Changala has condemned reports of the Kabwe Patriotic Front leadership which has been collecting money from minibus drivers in bus stations on pretext that they would speak on their behalf to senior party officials.
Last week, the Parliamentary Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs Affairs unearthed a fraudulent scheme where PF officials were collecting K1,000 every Saturday from Intra-Town Bus Station drivers in Kabwe on pretext that they would submit their complaints to PF senior officials.
Commenting on this development in an interview, Changala advised the affected drivers in Kabwe to open a docket against the PF officials who were ‘stealing’ from them.
“When I talk to you to say PF is a group that has broken the rule of law, that is exactly what I mean. In PF, everybody can do what they want as long as they have got that flag and the chitenge for the President then they start doing everything that they think they can do. Under PF, the rule of law has been torn apart. Even the PF leadership doesn’t dispute the fact that they’ve torn the law and the Constitution apart. If the cadres have been left loose, it means that they are a law unto themselves. You cannot charge somebody that levy of K1,000 in order to escalate their grievances to the powers that be. Already PF is in power, so they are supposed to help those people without any sort of financial deal. Not with those people who are just poor Minibus drivers or indeed anybody else,” Changala said.
“When we say; there’s no rule of law prevailing in the country, those are situations and moments one is referring to. So my take and my appeal to all Zambians, not only the Minibus drivers, please stop paying these cadres. They have no mandate or any obligation to go round the country collecting fees and charging people for any service. We have well established institutions that one can go to when you have a grievance. But I know, what they’ve done to people in these institutions, they have rendered them useless and everybody now is going to the new found institutions and those institutions are the cadres, which is wrong. If we are not careful, you will remember me, we are turning this country into a banana Republic where the rule of law has been torn part.
Changala said the PF leadership had been tolerating the kind of lawlessness its cadres were exhibiting in Kabwe because they were beneficiaries of violence.
“They promised their supporters jobs which are not available, then they unleashed them on the hopeless and helpless people who are struggling to make a life and who are desperate to achieve some economic success and you promise them that if you pay me K1,000, I will do this and that for you and then they disappear. Those are criminals, whether they are cadres or what, they can only be described as criminals,” charged Changala.
“Unfortunately, the police, where they are supposed to report are equally moribund, they are to blame as well. The police is caged, it is only alive when cases are to do with those from the opposition or anybody in the opposition. So my appeal to those people who were complaining to the Parliamentarians, its to stop dealing with these cadres. But to go further, those people who were complaining to the Parliamentarians should go and open a docket against these people. I know the police will not act fast, but there is a future, sometime in future when all said and done, they will be made to account. They will account for all this nonsense that they are doing.”