KWACHA PF member of parliament Joe Malanji says he does not have time to respond to time wasters questioning his source of wealth because he generates his income from several legitimate sources.
Last Sunday, Malanji donated a Higer Bus worth US $270,000 to youths in his constituency in Kitwe District.
Malanji, who is also Foreign Affairs Minister, last month donated K140,000 to St. Peter’s Parish in Ipusukilo Compound in Kitwe for the construction and completion of various infrastructure at the Church.
He equally handed over a brand new luxury Rosa Bus to traders under the National Traders and Marketers’ Association of Zambia (NATMAZ) in the same area.
Some members of the public, however, expressed concern and wanted to know where Malanji got the funds to make donations of that magnitude.
But Malanji said he used to make donations even before he was appointed as Cabinet Minister.
“Do you think I have time to respond to time wasters like those? People must be serious for once! Those who want to know must go to that constituency or Kitwe in general they will find that I was doing the same to help the community way back. Let them go to churches. Do you know that I bought a bus for the community in 2010, a big 70-seater bus? I was not a minister, I only became a minister in 2017. So, to start wasting time to answer such questions, I would be wasting my time because this is not something new. I can tell you that I have so many sources; business, and well-wishers. I have a lot of work to do [rather] than respond to arm-chair criticism. Let them write a letter to me and ask me. Do you know that I am Minister of Foreign Affairs? I don’t use my salary for anything, even when I was working before COVID-19 when you go out, you have US $5,000 for your per diem, and when I go out there, I look after myself and when I come back if I change it, how much is that? So, some people came to Parliament for a salary, which is not the same for everyone,” said Malanji in an interview.
“You must know that even when I came to Parliament, I had my own hotel, I had other businesses. Others come to Parliament with completely nothing! You can ask the people from Kitwe…I bought a converted Pajero in 2009. You will find that there was a big bus moving in Kitwe donated by me. When you go to my golf background, you go to Chainama and ask them, ‘who bought all the chairs at Chainama Golf Club?’ In 2008, I bought them chairs worth K63 million. You go to Kasama, I bought all the chairs. Why were they not asking me that time? I was not a minister, but I bought for all the clubs that needed such. Even at the Nkana Golf Club in 2006, I bought all the chairs there, which cost me US $11,000. The only order you can have at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to sell stationary, there is no contract you can get from that Ministry.”
Recently, several PF Ministers have been donating huge sums of cash to their constituents as gifts ahead of next year’s general election.
Aside from Malanji’s donations, Nkana PF member of parliament Alexander Chiteme donated K50,000 cash to freedom fighters in his constituency.
In June, this year, Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo also splashed out K400,000 to taxi drivers in Kabushi constituency in Ndola District, among other donations, despite not having any known source of income prior to being elected as area member of parliament in 2016.
Some members of the public have, however, repeatedly questioned where government officials had found such huge sums of cash to afford to give away.