PATRIOTIC Front (PF) sympathizer Munir Zulu says some senior members of the ruling party’s Central Committee are praying that President Lungu is not eligible to stand in 2021.
And Zulu says it remains a source of concern that some senior members of the Central Committee continue to sponsor confusion in the party.
Meanwhile, Zulu says Tourism and Arts Minister Ronald Chitotela is a liability to the PF government while the party’s national youth chairman Kelvin Sampa is a self-centered man.
Speaking when he featured on a special interview on Muvi TV, Saturday, Zulu said some senior PF members were praying that President Lungu is not eligible to stand in 2021.
“The confusion in PF is bordered on running mate and the youths. Most of these people that condemn, youths like myself, is for one reason that we don’t go to them to say ‘I don’t have mealie meal at home.’ So, when they are having their caucus meetings, they don’t invite us. Honorable [Dora] Siliya is right that there are very senior members and even members of the central committee that were praying or that are praying that President Lungu is not eligible. I spoke to lawyers to say ‘what’s the issue after Bill 10?’ and he said the issue of eligibility is not there. But what is a problem is delimitation. Those senior members are a source of conflict. Others are not comfortable that Her Honour the Vice-President is the Vice-President,” Zulu said.
He said the PF had very good and sober ministers but at the same time had bad ones.
“PF has very good ministers and at the same time very bad ones. I will cite certain ministers. We have got sober ministers like Honorable [Richard] Musukwa for Mines, Honorable Alexander Chiteme for National Planning, Honorable Kampamba Mulenga for Social Development, Honorable Bowman Lusambo for Lusaka Province, the Finance Minister is sober, Copperbelt Minister Mwakalombe is sober. Then we have Dr Chitalu Chilufya who is a sober guy but the only people that are denting him are young people that follow him behind. Then we have Nickson Chilangwa, Luapula Provincial Minister, very sober. Home Affairs is also a very sober guy. In fact, when Honorable Stephen Kampyongo was national youth chairman, there was discipline in the party. The moment he went to security, indiscipline has become the order of the day in the Patriotic Front,” Zulu said.
“[Michael] Katambo is a very sober guy. But these other ministers like for Information; Tourism and Arts, I have just told you that Honorable Chitotela is a liability to this country. If he wants those who are going to say to him that ‘honorable nshikwete ubunga (I don’t have mealie meal)’ and those are not enemies of progress, then we will continue to be enemies of progress. Honorable Kampyongo is sober mind, sober character, disciplinarian, and we miss him. Now, look at Honorable Kelvin Sampa the Kasama MP, the one who took over from Honorable Kampyongo. What’s the order of the day? Youths are fighting. The youths in the PF have a wrong national youth chairman. It’s a scam. He (Kelvin Sampa) is a scam, he has got no influence on the youths in this country. Kelvin Sampa is a wrong fellow to lead the young people in PF. He cannot influence my opinion and that’s enough reason for him to be a wrong guy. Self-centered man. I can tell you that the day when Kelvin Sampa will not be National Youth Chairperson, there will be a lot of jubilation.”
Meanwhile, Zulu said some of the people who have benefited from the artists empowerment fund were not genuine.
“If we were to go into the details of all the artists that have received that empowerment, is the ministry in the position to give us their business proposals so that everyone of us can have a look at them? You cannot tell me that you are going to give a WhatsApp blogger a K300,000 in this economy and say the empowerment was on merit. How? Where? What kind of an artist is Sarafina, and where? I have seen that of late, we have developed a certain social media syndrome where people project themselves as social media influencers on their CV that is, master of ceremonies, motivational speakers but then they don’t put their academic credentials. Then you wonder what kind of a country we are living in. And then a person who is PA to the so-called social media influencers becomes an artist and given K300,000 which is equivalent to US $15,000 as at today’s (Saturday) rate,” Zulu said.
We have got diverse artists. We have people that are into poetry, craft, designing, we have people that do Dununa Reverse, and we have people that do Mwankole. But there are certain artists that we have not heard their songs since our high school days and they have failed to build their careers and only to use COVID-19 as an excuse to raise money, for what? If for 10 to 15 years people failed to make money, what guarantee is there that with this money, they are going to make it? And that money will be paid back. For me this is forum shopping because if we as a people were given a chance to even read their business proposals, maybe it would make sense. The intentions were good. Those (artists) are under the Ministry of Tourism. Why didn’t the ministry come up with a system of teaching people how to hunt and then they go for lion skin in South Luangwa or Luangwa National Park? Why is that information being hidden to make us think that there is more money in cash than in hunting or there is more money in cash than in fish. Why not teach them how to fish? K30 million could have been invested in human resources and then they go fishing and then rip the benefits. Why is the minister of tourism not telling the Zambian people the cost of learning how to hunt? That information is hidden. But when it’s money time, it’s Christmas for everyone.”
He said the artists who had benefited from the empowerment fund had no capacity to pay back.
“[Those who have benefited from the empowerment fund have no capacity to pay back], and it’s a fact. We are a country of jokers,” Zulu said.
Zulu said Chitotela is a liability to President Lungu.
“One thing that is correct is that most of these cabinet ministers are trying to sugarcoat certain statements [such as] ‘President Lungu is happy with this, people are calling me from outside Zambia.’ Which non-Zambian would call Honorable Chitotela to please President Lungu? They have disappointed the President on Bill 10, then a foreigner should call Honorable Chitotela and say ‘you are doing a great job for President Lungu?’To me, and with no apologies to make, he is a liability to President Lungu. If I am an enemy of progress, Honorable Chitotela is a liability to this government,” he said.
And Zulu said it is a source of concern that some PF members of the Central Committee continued to sponsor confusion in the party.
“So, why this crop of ministers and members of the central committee can sponsor that confusion remains a source of concern to a lot of us. They don’t believe that when it’s your time then it’s your time. It’s not their time so they can wait. I was arguing with some people on a certain WhatsApp group and I said look, you guys want to make noise to say what happens if State Counsel John Sangwa brings a petition? I said are you telling me PF has no human resources to talk for President Lungu? There is enough human resource. But how many of good intent [can do that]? Not everyone that carries a flag on their vehicle means well. Not everyone that is a member of the central committee means well. It’s mixed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zulu said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is a toothless bulldog which cannot investigate the illegalities arOund the awarding of a tender to HoneyBee Pharmacy.
“The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is a toothless bulldog. Corruption exists both inside and outside the government systems. I have been to the Anti-Corruption Commission to complain over some Chinese called Jiang Gung of Washang Investment. This Chinese guy has the audacity to call me when I am leaving the Anti-Corruption Commission buildings and say ‘I can see you leaving ACC, you went to report me but ACC is in my pocket.’ And I tell this to the ACC to say this Chinese guy is claiming that you are in his pockets. If I had a way, that institution should have been disarmed. They should ban it. We only have three institutions in this country, Zambia Police, Drug Enforcement Commission, and Zambia Revenue Collection. ACC is a stooge of certain Chinese. The convictions of the ACC are those of K200, K300, or K1,000. Anything above US$50, 000, tell me one case that has succeeded? How can they investigate HoneyBee if they are failing to investigate a simple Chinese?” asked Zulu.