State House Special Assistant to the President for Political Affairs Kaizer Zulu says he moves with a gun to protect himself because no one wants him alive after he successfully managed the 2015 elections in favour of President Edgar Lungu.
And Zulu has denied causing an accident when he “carelessly” overtook a school bus over a week ago, saying he is waiting for the police to do a comprehensive investigation.
Speaking on Diamond Television’ s COSTA programme, Wednesday night, Zulu said his life was under threat.
“If at all anyone would want to question my competence, ask those that have lost power before. Those that have tried to win an election. From 2011, I was at the core of the elections to unseat the then ruling party. The most difficult election probably I have ever participated in is the 2015 election because the other player had been on the scene for quite some time campaigning year in, year out but certainly we carried the day. But it was not just my making, I also say thank you to the Zambian people who responded positively,” Zulu said.
Asked if he had ever fired a gun to protect himself, he responded in the affirmative.
“Yes I have. For instance, there are two military officers whom the police arrested. They drove to my house; they had two targets – myself and former president Rupiah Banda. Was it necessary for me to fire [at] these trained men or make me die? My life is under threat. When you manage an election and it is successful to your credit, who would want to see you alive? [I am] stumbling block for them to ascend to power,” Zulu responded.
On the recent accident involving himself and a school bus which was ferrying pupils to a school in Ibex Hill, President Lungu’s political advisor said he deserved to be treated fairly by the police.
He gave an account of how the accident occurred.
“I’m a parent and I have children that are driven to school at the same time that those kids were being driven to school. Which parent would want to kill another man’s children? If I was brandishing a gun, there were more than 40 people on the scene; smart phones were in each and everyone’s hands. At least one would have captured a picture of me either manhandling the driver or indeed beating up…it was an unfortunate accident that happened due to carelessness but further to that, I am also waiting on the police to do a conclusive investigation and probably issue a statement since they had done a statement when the accident happened,” Zulu said. “I feel so bad that a careless unlicensed driver [and] unnamed put the lives of those children in harms way .To demonstrate that when that happened, I had to stand down from my early meeting to go and check on the kids at a named clinic where they were being attended to. Now if I was that careless, why would I start going after those kids to see if they are in good shape [and] in good condition?”
He said when he went to the school, the driver of the bus had run away.
“He had already bolted from the scene. Probably, the police should present him to the public to say this is the man who was beaten and his jaw was broken. To start with, if his jaw was broken, he can’t talk, can he? Now the most significant part of that accident, I found that the driver’s license that was hanging in the bus belonged to somebody else. The person who claimed to be the owner of the bus is not the owner. The owner of the school who hired a public service vehicle to ferry school children from ZAF airbase to the school now, our investigations (done) independently have revealed that the name that is mentioned in the police statement is a wrong name of the driver who was driving the bus,” Zulu said. “Secondly, when we went back to the scene to verify as to what exactly happened, another driver showed up. I am waiting for them to do the correct thing. I am a Zambian just like any other Zambian; we are equal before the law. I also expect the law to treat me fairly… I was not too far from house. When I just turned into third street, I decided to overtake a bus and this bus driver decided to overtake within my overtaking. There was a claim that he wanted to turn. Certainly you can’t turn when you have already passed where you wanted to turn. Now if I were to hit the bus, certainly my vehicle was going to be damaged on the front part of it but my damaged part is on my left and the bus didn’t go into the drainage, it was my vehicle that went into the drainage on the right. There was no shake up on the bus.”
And when asked if allegations of corruption and abuse of power made against him by NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili were true, he denied.
“These are the people who pick up phones and call me to say ndechula (I am suffering). When Chishimba Kambwili was inside, he knew a different kind of Kaizer Zulu, certainly I have changed in his eyes because he is in the opposition and I am inside. My focus is never shaken; it is to strategise and win an election,” Zulu said.
“I want the Zambian people to know that Kaizer Zulu is not an animal; he smiles a lot, [they come from] his heart, they are not fake. I joke a lot. Certainly I don’t abuse the power that is bestowed upon me to conduct business…within State House. If I did, probably I would be appearing before the courts of law because there are laws that provide for prosecution of such. He is a good man who has got a family. When I am pricked, I also feel pain and I cry.”
He said he takes his job seriously.
“Never at one point would I disrespect the President because he is my appointing authority and I don’t take my job for jokes. Under President Sata, he was my traditional cousin. I served him at State House twice first as the Chief political analyst and later as his permanent secretary. No one would point out a day…even if the President threw a joke, I would respond being his traditional cousin. It is normal, it can happen but always I would say ‘I have heard you your Excellency’. And that is my nature; I carry forward, I don’t take the opportunity to serve in the highest office for granted,” Zulu said.
When asked why the limelight was on him and whether or not he finds President Lungu weaker than president Sata, he said people were bent on tarnishing his image.
“…we are both coming from the same school. The school of Michael Chilufya Sata where discipline was number one. Have you seen a dog barking at a stationary vehicle nor do you see monkeys trying to pluck something they can’t eat? Certainly those who are outside have got their tentacles everywhere to try and tarnish my image,” Zulu said. “The question that should be in context is that when a strong man is standing and he has got his other roots around him, to bring down such a man, you need to start targeting the roots. It’s like a tree, when you cut the stem, it will grow because it is still feeding from the soil but when you cut the roots, then the tree will fall. Therefore, it is inconceivable that I will be willing to have these legs cut and let the opposition take over from President Lungu. If Kaizer Zulu left today, do you think if another strong man is in there, they will let that strong man stay?”
Asked if he was cutting deals using his position at State House and was a middle man for President Lungu, he said he has never done that.
“I am not in charge of economics. I am not a dealer there. Outside State House, I am a businessman.Let one man adduce evidence, even one little evidence that my company has one business with the government. I can simply declare interest to say I am going to put in a tender for that contract,” said Zulu.