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Mwenye’s corruption remarks irk PFBy Mukosha Funga on 22 Aug 2019
PF Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri says former Attorney General Musa Mwenye SC and Premier Consult proprietor Professor Oliver Saasa have both failed the country in their areas of expertise but continue to be glorified by the media.
And former National Restoration Party spokesperson Bwalya Nondo has charged that the opposition in the country has failed to play its role of offering checks and balances because of their hurtful and envious ways.
The duo were speaking during a press briefing held at the PF secretariat to announce Nondo’s defection to the PF in Lusaka, Wednesday.
Last week, Mwenye and Prof Saasa featured, alongside FIC acting board chairman John Kasanga, on a public discussion forum organised by News Diggers and OSISA in partnership with local partners Eden University and Prime TV.
In his remarks, Mwenye said the corrupt were evil and urged against glorifying those who steal from public coffers.
“I have no apologies for what am about to say next: The corrupt are evil, and we must not glorify them by idolising people who have just stolen from public office. I get amused when you hear stories from people about big buyers in these [night] clubs, why are public officials living like Jay-Z and Beyonce, flashing money around and so on? When we were in office, you would hide, even if you have the money, it is immoral to keep spending money when you are serving poor people, we should be ashamed of that,” said Mwenye.
And Saasa said: “You may not know who a good leader is until he gets into power, and if you are exposed to his misdeeds, you should show him the door. And if there is one that you support, let’s assume one from the opposition comes in and they do exactly the opposite of what they promised when they were in opposition; show them the door, that for me is the quality of a good leader. A good leader or a bad leader is a mirror reflection of you. Don’t tell me that “this person corruptly went into power, he corrupted people,” where were you? Because essentially a bad leader who corrupts people, electorates means that you have allowed them and therefore whatever he does, he does it in your name. So as part of civic education, learn to say goodbye to those that fail you in terms of expectation as leaders.”
But Phiri wondered why the media in the country had a tendency to glorify what she termed as failures in the name of professionals.
“You the media really surprise me because in the country called Zambia, it’s like we have started glorifying failures. Why do I say so, you have a forum which is happening every Friday at Intercontinental Hotel and last week, I was listening to one of those people I can call a failure. Yes he looks like a renowned lawyer but this is the guy, Musa Mwenye who failed to translate the constitution when we nearly went into a crisis. He failed to handle the constitution according to me, a former Member of Parliament, a former law maker, can he still tell us what they did with our former vice president Honourable Guy Scott? …getting instruments of power from a person who was given the instruments by then Edgar Lungu, grab them and give them to Honourable Guy Scott who was never given even an opportunity to act as the president when President Sata was alive,” she charged.
“We have another person, when I was young, 1988-89, there was the issue of privatisation, I mean under ZCCM and other private companies, one of those people we were seeing on television, very educated was professor Saasa. Has he come to us the way he was glorifying privatisation, he was convincing us. Some of you will remember but when privatisation was done, things went wrong and some of our parents died of depression because of that privatisation. For him to come back and again start talking and you the journalists you are there, you can’t remember even those things? Help us, because your job is to inform, educate and entertain.”
She further wondered why people who were part of the NDF turned around and were crying foul when they had the chance to add their voice to the resolutions.
“When we had the just ended NDF, the lawyers were represented there by their own [association], are you telling me that the lawyers didn’t see these things which are now being taken to court? Let’s wait and see what the court is going to say over that but otherwise, if you are part of the process, it’s a shame to come out and start discrediting something which you were part of,” she advised.
Meanwhile, Nondo said NAREP is a good party but he defected to PF because the opposition was not good enough to deliver the needs of the people.
“I have nothing against those I am coming from, they are very good people but being good just is not good enough to deliver for the needs of the people of this great nation. The opposition in this country have terribly failed to play their pivotal role in the governance of this nation where giving checks and balances is concerned because of their hurtful and envious ways. They have betrayed the people of this country by wanting to mislead the people. If you have good ideas, why keeping them to yourself? we cannot continue fighting from the outside, we need to come inside and give checks and balances, that’s the more reason why I have decided to join this progressive political party, the only political party with a clear national agenda,” he said.
“I have realized that I have wasted so much time in the opposition. Though I was going through the furnace, all the dross is out; I am here in my small way to contribute to the betterment of this great nation. We have so many brilliant young men and women in the opposition like I will give an example of my friend, Ezra Ngulube and Liswaniso who are being abused, used and wasted in the opposition, time is now. Put your pride aside and join the winning team which is the PF and I can assure you that in 2021, victory is certain for the Patriotic Front. And there will be no telling lies that they have rigged, it will be beyond 75 [per cent] plus, if they say 50 plus,” noted Nondo.
About Mukosha Funga
Mukosha is interested in good governance and anti-corruption reporting.
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