Most of the roads being constructed by ‘Afcon’ contractor in Lusaka have a lifespan of 50 years, says Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo.
And Lusambo says calls for lifestyle audits are nonsensical because ministers are capable of building houses using their salaries.
Meanwhile, Lusambo says his administration has identified some bad eggs in various government departments which have to be removed.
Lusambo said this when he featured on 5Fm’s Burning Issue programme, Tuesday.
“As minister of the province, I am happy with the quality which we are getting from the contractor, Afcon (sic) contractor. When you go to check the road works of Afcon, both the drainage and the roads, it is durable and the lifespan of that road according to project manager when I inspected the road, the lifespan is 50 years and I can assure you that you can agree with them that yes these roads will last for 50 years because of the roads which they are putting up as Afcon. It will be nice to see motorists enjoying their rides in these new roads once completed,” Lusambo said.
And Lusambo said lifestyle audits were rubbish.
“People in Lusaka are building. ACC [officials] are building, DEC [officials] are building, a lot of government officials are building. But when [Stephen] Kampyongo builds even a fish pond then it becomes an issue. Kampyongo is just a human being like any other person, he has children, he has a family. Who said a politician should not build? Bring me a document which says that a politician should not build. That is nonsense. Lifestyle auditing is rubbish,” Lusambo said.
“It is rubbish because as MPs, we declare our assets before going to Parliament to say ‘I have three guns, I have a Toyota Camry, I have a plot in Chalala or in Kaunda Square.’ Are you telling me that the way you are now is the same way you joined 5Fm? Maybe you came here with bent shoes and because you are getting a salary, you can afford to get a nice shirt. What is wrong with that? MPs who have been in parliament like Honorable Given Lubinda have been in parliament for four terms and so he should not build a house [simply because he is a politician]? What nonsense is this?”
Meanwhile, Lusambo said his administration had identified some bad eggs in the various government departments who were illegally allocating plots and had to be removed from the system.
“The problem [to land encroachment in Lusaka] is having un-honest officers in the government offices, those officers who are supposed to do the right thing. In our tour of duty, we have encountered illegal documents signed by junior officers from the Ministry of Lands, from the Local Government and from council. It has nothing to do with cadres. There is no cadre who can take the law in their own hands. So when it comes to illegal land allocation or encroachment, we have seen that we have officers in these government offices who are not honest [and] who are not patriotic to this country. And if we can tolerate this type of behaviour to generate in the manner we are seeing it, tomorrow we won’t have Zambia. So for me we have bad eggs in these government offices. We have identified the bad eggs and we will not tolerate lawlessness in our province [and] if it means flushing them all, we will do that,” he said.
He said that political party leaders fond of insulting government and its leadership were very useless, adding that it would not harm the opposition to commend President Edgar Lungu where he had done well.
“It doesn’t cost them any money for the opposition political parties to come up and say ‘Edgar, you have done well in Agriculture, you have done well in Road Infrastructure, upgrading of water system in our country but we want also you Edgar to do well in ABCD.’ Opposition parties are government in waiting, they are an alternative government. But if you are an alternative government and you are insulting every day, your issue when you have an opportunity to give the people the information and your issue is to insult government, to insult the president and insult Bowman Lusambo, then you are a very useless political party leader,” Lusambo said.
And asked to explain his recent donation in Kabushi constituency, Lusambo said those condemning his kind gesture were glorifying poverty.
“And the first one (donation) was big. Not that one truck they saw. Five trucks came to Musa Kasonka stadium and the stadium was packed to the capacity. Not that one truck [which I recently donated] and people have already started exaggerating. I was very disappointed. That is a sign of glorifying poverty. I have been doing this for some time now and it is an ongoing. This function which we had in Kabushi constituency was a smallest function. When I was coming into politics I had sponsors and these sponsors now, the base has grown. I don’t know] how much the donation was costing]. If you gave me a bag of mealie-meal [then] what is wrong with me donating it? We have support from the well-wishers, and the people who believe in my leadership and they have come on board to say ‘we will partner with you.’ And we have a bigger choir festival coming in October, the “Bowman Lusambo choir festival” in Kabushi constituency,” said Lusambo.