DEMOCRATIC Party president Harry Kalaba says President Edgar Lungu and PF members are giants of corruption.
And Kalaba says President Lungu should be the last person to show concern on the state of investigative journalism in the country when he has closed and threatened media institutions which reveal corrupt activities in government.
Meanwhile, Kalaba says PF officials have just been told to avoid dishing out huge sums of money in front of cameras.
Kalaba was commenting on President Lungu’s remarks that the fight against corruption had become corrupt and that journalists were not using their skills to report on corruption.
“The biggest danger we have in this country on corruption is President Lungu himself, he is the biggest danger we have. He has never believed in corruption because he embraces it. He has never fought the fight against corruption. He is not a member of the fight against corruption. All the leaders in SADC , they all know that he doesn’t believe in corruption, they know. All the diplomats accredited to Zambia, they all know that President Lungu does not believe in corruption. President Lungu should tell us about the 48 houses, the President should tell us about the expired medicines, how do you give a certificate to a company on Sunday, a manufacturing licence on a Sunday? Those are things he should be explaining,” Kalaba said.
“What the President has done is that he has lowered the office of the Presidency. You were accusing (Fredrick) Chiluba of corruption ‘Chiluba is corrupt, Chiluba is corrupt’, Chiluba was a baby compared to how these people are behaving. Chiluba was a baby, a toddler because these are giants to corruption. President Lungu has weakened the Anti-Corruption Commission, he has weakened the DEC, he has weakened all the agencies of government involved in the fight against corruption. So, he is the last person to say that.”
Kalaba questioned why President Lungu had continued to donate buses to government institutions.
“How can you explain that now, it is the President who is donating buses to government institutions, how do you explain that? A President cannot be donating to government institutions, it means that he has more money than those institutions. It has never happened before that the President can buy a bus to Copperbelt University, he can buy a bus for a secondary school. The institutions themselves should be given enough resources to buy those things for themselves. What has happened now in this country is that money is in the hands of a few politicians, corrupt politicians they are the ones who are having the money. Government institutions are dry completely. That is why we are swallowing expired drugs and the President has said nothing on the expired drugs. That is the challenge that we have,” Kalaba said.
And Kalaba said President Lungu should be the last person to show concern on the state of investigative journalism in Zambia.
“How can he talk about investigative journalism when he killed The Post? How can he talk about investigative journalism when he killed Prime TV? How can he talk about investigative journalism when he was closing radio stations everywhere? When you try to be investigative, he is closing you. So he is not being sincere, he has never been sincere and he should not be playing with us. He should not think we are shallow, we see through him. Because he doesn’t like News Diggers! The reason why is because News Diggers is very deep through their investigative journalism. They exposed the drug issues, it’s News Diggers! That exposed the rotten medicine. It is News Diggers that has been talking about all these syndicates of corruption, mukula and everything, it’s News Diggers! So what is he talking about?” Kalaba asked.
“He should wait until he leaves office, that is when he will know that there is investigative journalism. Let him wait! This is a country of various skills, you can’t take the country as if it is yours. He should take it easy, if he is waiting for investigative journalism, it is coming after August the 12th. I sympathize with Daily Mail, I sympathize with Times of Zambia because those are very educated guys but they can’t operate because they are working under very difficult circumstances, they can’t even work properly. ZNBC we can’t condemn them we can only sympathise with them.”
Meanwhile, Kalaba said the recent ban on cash donations by PF members was not genuine.
“What he meant is that stop giving money in front of cameras. Otherwise he is very much encouraging them to continue giving money because as you know COVID money has disappeared and on the other side, we see these PF politicians dishing out money, giving out to voters. But we are telling the voters to eat the money and teach PF a lesson they have never learnt before in their lives. What he was saying, he was just crying wolf, you know the President likes crying wolf, unnecessarily trying to hoodwink people but those of us who understand him and who know him, he is playing to the gallery. He is playing politics. Let’s not take him seriously. After that statement, he called them and said ‘avoid cameras and keep on’, I am telling the truth,” said Kalaba.