LUSAKA Province Minister Bowman Lusambo says he is still waiting for more details on how government officials should proceed with their ongoing empowerment programmes following the ban on disbursing cash at public gatherings.

And Lusambo says it is difficult to carry out empowerment activities without donating money.

On Monday, PF national mobilisation committee chairperson Richard Musukwa said President Edgar Lungu was disturbed by the recent public display and dispensing of huge volumes of cash by some PF members during mobilisation engagements and further banned all PF members and aspiring candidates from disbursing cash at public gatherings.

Commenting on the development, Lusambo, who is also Kabushi PF member of parliament, said that his team had not yet been briefed on how they should proceed with their empowerment programmes without recourse to disbursing funds because they still had a number of activities lined up that typically involved cash hand-outs.

“It’s Honourable Musukwa who issued that statement, so the best person to get clarification from is Honourable Musukwa. For me, that was just a statement, we need now to sit down and analyse this statement and get more details and information beyond the statement from the national mobilisation chair. The best person to explain and give a detailed (response) to back that statement is the national chairperson mobilisation himself. It is very difficult to comment on a statement, which is not coming from me, it is a statement which is coming from someone and he knows the interpretation beyond that statement,” Lusambo said in an interview.

“For me and my team in Kabushi constituency, we wait to get more details from the national mobilisation chairman because there are a lot of empowerment systems, which we have implemented. For example, when you are empowering the marketeers, there are no two-ways about it, you just have to give them cash! Unless you say, ‘you will start buying fish; you start buying tomatoes; you start buying vegetables, you start buying impwa; you start buying mulembwe…’ to start giving the marketeers. So, that is why I am saying this statement, the best person to give us the stake of the statement or the issue is the national mobilisation chairperson.”

And he bemoaned that it would be difficult to successfully implement empowerment activities without donating money.

“For us, we will wait and get information from him because it was just a statement. So, for us, we just got the statement from the media and then, definitely, we will be called to give the way [forward and how] they want us and the members of the party to conduct ourselves, especially when it comes to engagement with the grassroots and the donations. Because it is very difficult because it is not always that you need to do a project, but with due respect to the national mobilisation chair, we wait and get information on this statement. We are everywhere. The most important thing is that we have to work,” said Lusambo.