Kitwe district commissioner Binwell Mpundu has explained that the K120,000 donated towards a library restocking programme in Kitwe’s Buchi township is in his possession for safekeeping.

According to Buchi Kamitondo Childhood Association (BUKACA) chairperson Florence Britton, Mpundu has allegedly failed the past 16 months to deposit the money in the association’s account despite many reminders to him.

“I have serious concerns regarding the conduct of the Kitwe DC, Mr Binwell Mpundu. On the 9th of June last year, the association held fundraising events which comprised of a sponsored walk and a fundraising dinner. The events were to raise funds for restocking the Buchi library in Kitwe via Books for Africa in the US. Tasila Lungu was the guest of honour at the fundraising gala dinner. During the dinner, a lot of well-wishers made pledges and it was agreed that the pledges be taken to the DC’s office for proper accountability. The DC confirmed that he had received 120,000 last year,” said Britton.

“The problem has been, on several occasions, we have requested for him to pay the money in our association bank account or direct to Books for Africa, unfortunately he has failed to do so. We have written to him, telephoned him, sent text messages, visited his office, however, nothing has happened. What he does is he will engage with us and suddenly stops. I would like to take his opportunity to urge Mr Mpundu to pay the money he has in his possession to Books for Africa so that our association can realize the dream of developing the underprivileged communities we were brought up in by restocking the library.”

But in response to the allegations, Mpundu said he will hand back the money to the people who gave it to him for safe keeping so that “malicious people can go and claim it”.

“A very friendly advice from me is that people must start learning to be civil as they deal with matters of public nature. Social media should be used productively because it will destroy people before they even achieve the mission of destroying others. Going forward, our resolution is to hand back the money to the very people who gave it to me for safe keeping and those same malicious people can the claim it from there. I have done my part, I am glad I was available to render a service and I have done so by keeping their money safe the rest is theirs to handle,” said Mpundu.

“It is very regrettable that the so called association chairperson has decided to be scandalous over an issue that could have had a sweet ending. The committee that raised that money brought the said money to me uninvited for safe keeping after the committee had initially chewed the money donated by the guest of honour Tasila Lungu. The sad part is that in their quest to scandalize me, they have now scandalized the same people who donated the said money who are now being called copper thieves. I was given a responsibility to keep their money and I have been doing that only to be shocked that the people who had ill motives over the money could now take to social media to insult everyone who meant good for their cause.”