FOREIGN Affairs Minister Joe Malanji says he does not want to appear like he is bragging by coming to the media to disclose all his sources of wealth, insisting that he is able to account for all the donations he makes.
On Sunday, a viral video showed Malanji looking for Copperbelt University hostel representatives and pledging a K5,000 donation to each of their hostels.
But UPND secretary general Stephen Katuka questioned where he was getting such kind of money.
“When the court asks them what they illegally got, they start crying. But someone is ready to give K5,000 per hostel. How much money is that? That is more than what the court was demanding for the ministers that illegally stayed in office. When we talk about corruption in this government people think we are politicking. Where are they getting such kind of money? These people are there to empower themselves and nothing for you and me as ordinary people which is very unfortunate. Where are they finding this kind of money to dish out?” asked Katuka.
But in an interview, Malanji said he could afford to donate what he pledged.
“You should ask Katuka how many children he has sponsored to school. You go to CBU and check records of how many students I sponsored in 2008 then you know yourself that this man came to serve not those who went to parliament to earn a salary which is not the same for everyone. And mind you, you have to realize that you have to work on the Copperbelt if you want to be a member of parliament unlike our colleagues in the UPND. In UPND, as long as you are adopted it is fine you don’t have to do anything for your constituency. It is different with us, you have to work. I can afford it. Giving is not easy, that is why some people brag of having money but when you ask where did he ever help, nowhere. They should go way back, people want to make it an issue because I am a minister. If you can’t afford, you can’t afford,” said Malanji.
“Those students I was talking to there, they asked for lunch, there were four hostels which were facing the administration where I was standing. I cannot give out something I cannot afford, something I cannot account for. Whether it is four hostels or 10, it doesn’t matter. If there is somebody concerned, let them come and ask me, I will sit down with him or her and explain to him my source of economy. Do I have to start discussing in the media to say ‘oh here is the order I have, this is the operation I am doing.’ Have I got to come and discuss in the Diggers Newspaper? Do I have to come with all the sources of income in the Newspaper as if I am bragging? I am not somebody who wants to brag in public. I don’t operate in the media. I have been a businessman. Even in Kwacha Constituency if you ask people, I was buying buses even before. Whoever is aggrieved let him come and ask me. Deliberately, I don’t participate in Zambian government tenders. I can do it outside. That should be in black and white. Even in my companies, we don’t participate in government contractors.”