ROAN National Democratic Congress (NDC) member of parliament Joseph Chishala says PF MPs’ continued donations of huge sums of cash, among other gifts, to constituents will not save the ruling party from regime change in 2021.
Commenting on the continued donations by some PF Ministers on the Copperbelt, with the latest being a donation of K50,000 cash to freedom fighters by Nkana PF member of parliament Alexander Chiteme in his constituency, Chishala argued that voters had already realised that the PF MPs’ donations were cosmetic, adding that they were handed out to hoodwick recipients into re-electing them next year.
“So, in short, this is a corrupt government; all that is needed is to vote them out in 2021! There is no way we can be tolerating such to be happening and we are quiet. There is no way such things can be happening and the President (Edgar Lungu) himself is quiet, he should also take keen interest…‘where are my Ministers getting all these monies?’ Those are the same people who are tarnishing the name of PF! People out there are wondering where have they gotten all this money? Moreover, in this case that we are going to wards elections, it clearly indicates that they have started the campaigns. In the opposition, we are failing to conduct meetings because of the COVID-19. So, they are disadvantaging us,” Chishala complained in an interview.
“I know Zambians are very clever that this time around, they have opened their eyes. They know for sure that all this is just cosmetics that they are smearing on time. Come 2021, for instance, the people of Roan whoever might try to enter my constituency and do such dish outs, I think they might regret it at the end of day because people have opened their eyes this time around. They are aware that all these donations PF are doing, all these empowerment they are doing is just there to hook people so that they gain popularity for 2021. People have opened their eyes. Even God above who we worship, He is able to tell that this time around, it is a matter of changing of regime because these people have taken the people of Zambia for granted.”
He added that it was strange that PF MPs had continued donating large sums of money from unexplained sources, which were not equivalent to their salaries.
“In the first place, my point of view is that these guys, whatever money they are donating to the youths, women or in public or in their constituencies doesn’t amount to money we get paid as members of parliament. The money that we get paid as members of parliament, personally, I can tell you that it’s money that even fails to sustain us throughout the month,” Chishala said.
“It is something that is so shocking that you find that your fellow members of parliament, who you are getting the same salary, are dishing out huge money, which clearly indicates that there are other sources of income, which might be… Personally, I suspect it may be proceeds of corruption. Even in the capacity of being a Minister; how much do they get paid that in a month somebody can donate more than K100,000? Where have they gotten the money? Because they don’t even get more than K100,000, even adding up all their allowances. Even if they had international trips, I don’t think they can be donating huge amounts.”
And he expressed disappointment that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was compromised and had failed to investigate the large amounts being donated by PF MPs.
“There is no way your fellow MP is donating K50,000 within a month; he donates a total amounting maybe to K150,000! Where has he gotten that money? Because in a month, as a member of parliament, the total amount you can walk away with is just about K25,000, K30,000 somewhere there. So, where are they getting all that money? So, that clearly indicates that these guys are not straight,” said Chishala.
“This should give a signal to the Anti-Corruption Commission, that is why we have always been crying that there should be live audits, personal life audits in the sense that we know where people are getting their money, where have they gotten all their money that they are dishing out? That should be in the interest of the ACC. But it seems that the ACC has no tooth to bite because already in the Dr Chitalu Chilufya case, you have seen what has happened. So, the ACC is being intimidated as well so they can’t operate independently.”