LUSAKA lawyer Kelvin Bwalya Fube (KBF) says he is not convinced that former health minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya was fired as a result of corruption, arguing that there are other factors which led to his dismissal.
And KBF says it is not fair how MMD members such as newly-appointed Water Development Minister Raphael Nakacinda are now enjoying the fruits of the hard work, sweat and sacrifices of founding PF members.
Speaking when he featured on KBN TV’s State of the Nation programme, Thursday evening, Fube said he was surprised that Dr Chilufya lost his job just seven months before the crucial forthcoming general election.
“The prerogative to appoint and fire ministers rests with the President. I think the viewers will remember that just a few days before the relieving of my younger brother Chitalu Chilufya as minister of health, the President was on record saying that, ‘he will not be forced into firing any minister.’ This is the same President who has been very defensive towards his ministers. Whenever there was a purported scandal or whenever there was an issue with regard to people rising up and complaining about leadership qualities or, indeed, something going wrong in the leadership, the President says, ‘I will not do this, give me the evidence, I need proof!’ He was trying to be legalist in his approach. So, I am just as surprised as you are as to why in an election year, a few months before the elections, my young brother Dr Chitalu Chilufya lost his job. I am also at a loss,” KBF, who is an aspiring PF presidential candidate, said.
KBF said he was not convinced that the former health minister was fired as a result of corruption.
He said he believed there were circumstances within PF, which were splitting the party.
“This scandal of the Honeybee and other things going on at the Ministry of Health, let me assure the Zambian people that from where I sit, I am not convinced that the Minister of Health was fired as a result of corruption. In fact, I dare say that the President of this country Edgar Chagwa Lungu has never fired any minister based on corruption. I believe that there must be other factors that led to my young brother being fired. I also believe that there are circumstances within the party, in the Patriotic Front, which are glaring and are splitting the party,” Fube said.
“I know because I have information within some quarters that there are things within the party, which are not straight and also there is a bit of indecision on the part of the President as to what he should do with regard to a succession plan. And that’s very dangerous. We must be decisive as leaders. We cannot afford to flip-flop when it comes to leadership. We must always agree that there will be a succession plan. And for me, I can say [that] the purported expulsion or dismissal of Chishimba Kambwili was not based on corruption. The cases that CK is facing today are not on corruption. He hasn’t told the nation why he fired Chitalu Chilufya, so let’s give him a benefit of doubt, but it’s not corruption.”
And Fube complained that it was not fair how MMD members were now enjoying the fruits of the sweat and sacrifice of founding PF members who worked hard to eject them from office 10 years ago.
“And that is why, for me, I am offering myself for leadership. I am saying it is time to change the game and change some players. You cannot have three quarters of your Cabinet coming from a party that you defeated in elections as if the party itself doesn’t have members, we have members. For instance, the recent appointment of Honourable [Raphael] Nakacinda who is a very dear friend of mine, but he is not PF. At least from where I sit, he hasn’t renounced being a member of MMD. In fact, he is in court trying to fight for his position in MMD. Are there no people within the Patriotic Front who have worked for this party? It is very disappointing to be asking members of the Patriotic Front to be sacrificing. Bending backwards everyday so that members who are in other parties must come and start ruling them and directing the affairs of their party? It is wrong! We should stop that. And this is why some of us are opposing this leadership,” he complained.
He stressed that there were many members of the PF who were not happy with the heightened levels of corruption in government or in the kind of leadership they were receiving.
“I consider myself a member of the Patriotic Front full-time. I have worked for this party for so long. Whether or not the current leadership recognises my contribution, that I will leave to the members of the Patriotic Front. But I have a lot of support in the rank and file of the Patriotic Front. There are so many members of the Patriotic Front who are not happy with the kind of leadership they are receiving, who are not happy with the direction the nation is taking with regard to governance issues. There are so many members of the Patriotic Front who are not happy with the levels of corruption in government and with the levels of incompetence we are seeing with some of our ministers who are supposed to be helping the President,” Fube added.
He also recalled how he turned down job opportunities from the Michael Sata and President Edgar Lungu.
“I was offered a job by the late president Sata. But I told the late president, ‘there are people who you have worked with who currently don’t have jobs, give them the jobs. Tukesa mu 2016’. That was always the plan, in 2016. I do know that my brother, the current President, wanted to appoint me. But at the end of the day, it’s his prerogative. For me to say I want to be a leader now, it’s because God’s time is the best. And I believe maybe then I was being preserved for such a time as this because can you imagine if I was in this government, I was going to be branded as what? I shudder to think! People were going to be thinking, ‘no, you are part of the system’. Maybe, God said, ‘stay out of this.’ I thank God,” said Fube.