PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s former Special Assistant for Project Implementation and Monitoring, Lucky Mulusa, says Zambia is right in the last stages of a failed State.
And Mulusa, whose last post in government was Minister of National Development Planning, has revealed that he broke ranks with the Patriotic Front after noticing that collective responsibility was turning into collective irresponsibility among government officials that he was working with.
President Lungu fired Mulusa in December 2017 following controversial remarks he made referring to the US$42 million fire trucks as wheelbarrows, before he blamed government technocrats over the persistent loadshedding.
Mulusa’s other moment of controversy came in May 2015, when he served under President Lungu as advisor for Project Monitoring and Implementation during a tour of Central Province when he shed tears after visiting newly created Ngabwe District saying: “It is sad to see that 50 years after we got independence, people can still be operating in tents and under the tree. But when you look at how many vehicles are given to one senior government official, some are not even used, but these officers here don’t even have offices.”
After almost three years of silence following his dismissal from the PF government, Mulusa was unveiled as Felix Mutati’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) secretary general and took to TV to explain the degeneration of good governance under President Lungu, which he said started while he was part of government.
“As politicians collectively, we contributed to the division that has happened in the country. We were part of this government as an alliance, but we were never part of the PF. I do agree that we were part of government and there was collective responsibility. But when collective responsibility started drifting into collective irresponsibility, some of us started breaking ranks because collective irresponsibility attracts collective sanctions. You will recall that as for me, I said everything I didn’t disagree with while I was inside. President Mutati equally said everything he had to say while he was inside. If you recall, he issued a statement saying that ‘we are not going to spend that which we don’t have’ and people disagreed and he was shifted out,” Mulusa said during an interview with Diamond TV.
“I equally said things that I didn’t agree with, and I was shifted out. So, the PF government which we left and its performance and the economic fundamentals that were in place are not there today. So, we are not men and women who simply go alone because you want to have a job, you want to have a government vehicle and you want to have an air conditioned office. We are men and women of integrity and we are not bootlickers. And we stand up to the president and tell him what is wrong and what is right.”
Mulusa said political violence was leading Zambia into the fringes of a failed state.
“Political violence does a lot of damage to our democracy. It does a lot of damage to the type of leadership. And that goes into failure to implement policies which results into policy failure and policy failure results into state failure. We don’t want a complete failed state. At the moment, we are right in the last stages of a failed state,” he said.
The Public Order Act hasn’t been applied fairly. If the MMD Government had applied the Public Order Act the way the PF Government is applying it, PF would have never come into power. And you earlier spoke about President Sata and the PF having been allowed to campaign for a period of 10 years, they were holding rallies even when there was no election going on and even during those rallies, they would actually be insulting the president and President Mwanawasa suffered a lot from those insults but President Sata was never stopped from campaigning. I actually recall that President Sata inconvenienced a Presidential motorcade in Luanshya and nothing was done to him.”
Meanwhile, Mulusa said after Felix Mutati left the position of Finance minister, the wheels of the economy came off.
“You will realise that for instance what has brought us to the debt crisis is over borrowing. Over borrowing simply meant that you were using the money that you didn’t have and that you were never going to have. And one of the budget speeches presented by president Mutati in parliament, he actually said ‘he will not allow expenditures that were not covered by the money that we have.’ So, that is breaking ranks. You don’t have the money, so you don’t spend. And yet you are in a government that has got a culture of spending that which they don’t have. And when president Mutati was removed, the wheels came off. At the time when president Mutati was being removed from Ministry of Finance, the kwacha was K9 to K10 to a dollar. Today, it’s twice that. It’s K20 to a dollar,” he said.
Mulusa said under PF, institutions of governance were not being given space to operate independently.
“When it comes to government policy, there are good policies in place but our challenge is with implementation. So the good policies are not being implemented. Our governance institutions are not being given the space to undertake tasks according to the mandates enshrined in our laws. And also policies and procedures are not being followed. But when you look at Zambia’s developmental policies, they are a marvel to look at, including our Seventh National Development Plan. It’s one piece of work that is admired by the World Bank, the IMF, the United Nations, the African Union and the rest of Africa. And actually there was a recommendation about six African countries to come and learn. Our biggest problem is implementation,” he said.
And Mulusa condemned attempts by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to discard the 2016 voters’ register.
“The law provides for 90 days and not 30 days. And they want to do it in 30 days. You have to segment your population. It’s always important for government to always engage its citizens and explain why they have come up with that decision. You don’t simply come up with a decision from the blues and your citizens start debating and start making guess works. What happens in that case is that people start doubting you. The voting process is the only time the general population has an opportunity to participate in governance by making decisions over their leaders. So you have to make sure that that process is as clear, and clean, and as sincere as possible,” said Mulusa.