FOREIGN Affairs Minister Joe Malanji says it has become a marketable lie to suggest that people in government are thieves.

And Malanji says he has raised K600,000 for markets in Solwezi.

Speaking when he met marketers in Solwezi Monday, Malanji emphasized that his company could do business with entities in the Middle East.

“Don’t be cheated by the people who want to sway your line of thought because they have seen that the only marketable lie is to say ‘people in government are thieves.’ Me standing here as Minister of Foreign Affairs, you can ask any director in any ministry, you can ask any permanent secretary in any ministry they will not tell you that ‘Malanji’s company came to lobby for business or contracts in any of the government ministries.’ But they want to get excited with the newspapers ‘no Malanji has got money from the Middle East’ my company can do business with entities in the Middle East, Asia, anywhere because that money when we are doing projects outside this country, the money is coming through the account for Gibsons Power Systems in Zambia and we are even paying withholding tax 20 percent to the government’s treasury” Malanji claimed.

“But because they want to confuse you, if you look at them, there are members of parliament from this province from Mushindamo to Chavuma they have been in office three terms, every term they get K2 million, have you ever seen one of them cutting a ribbon that ‘I have built a toilet at the market for my people?’ They are voted to go and eat in Lusaka. Even the CDF which is given to them by the government, it is misappropriated. You can’t point at any good building built from the CDF which is given to them by the government.”

He told Solwezi residents that they would be punishing themselves if they voted for the opposition.

“I will keep frequenting this place because we have got to preach. The government wants to make sure that development is covered in all corners of this country. You look at the development which is taking place in Solwezi now, it has a very big mine competing with major mines in the world. So when we look at these things let us not forget the history behind it. These mines came here because of the sons of the soil. Honorable Ben Tetamashimba and Kazenene were the men behind to bring these mines here. So if you isolate yourself to say we are going to punish the government, ‘we shall be voting for opposition here’, you are punishing yourselves,” he said.

“I have come to North-Western with one specific mission. The President appointed me Minister of Foreign Affairs and now he has appointed me member of the central committee and his particular message to me is that ‘I have appointed you, look after your relatives.’ And I can tell you that my mission here with the declaration today, is to come and replace the big heroes of this province Tetamashimba and the late Humphrey Mulemba. These were children of the soil that worked for the province from Solwezi to Chavuma, from Kasempa to Mwinulunga because they knew that they had the task to make sure they looked after the people of their province and I am going to do exactly that.”

Malanji further said he had managed to raise K600,000 for markets in Solwezi.

“Honorable Teddy Kasonso member of parliament for Solwezi West also phoned me that ‘can you empower your relatives, can you find a way you can empower your relatives in Solwezi?’ So I was on the Copperbelt the past one week, in Lusaka I contacted a friend I play golf with. When I came to Kitwe, I contacted three friends and I am glad to announce to you that I have raised for the markets here in Solwezi K600,000. So if I see that that money is being administered well, I am going to another golf tournament in Kitwe and I am going to bring you another K400,000 to make it K1 million. But let me sound a warning, when this money exchanges hands to come into your hands, it becomes public money. I am leaving the money today!” exclaimed Malanji.