UPND Alliance member Kelvin Bwalya Fube says President Hakainde Hichilema is being cautious with his appointments and will announce his Cabinet when he is ready.
Speaking when he featured on Spring TV, Monday, Fube said President Hichilema was making appointments in phases as he wanted to have a representative government.
“This is a very confident man, this is a man who understands why he is President today. This is a man who has been through a lot. So he just wants to be cautious. Remember, first of all, it is his prerogative when he announces cabinet but I must educate the Zambians quite a bit on how he intends to function, at least from what he has whispered to me. He wants to have a representative government, but as to whether or not he is short of decision-making powers, no! He is very decisive. I can assure you that the President will announce the cabinet when he is ready but the Zambians must not worry because there is already the Vice-President, there is the President and now we have a Finance Minister. Do you know when these three meet technically that’s cabinet?” he said.
“When you have got different players coming from different backgrounds, you also want to pick the best. But more so because we are running short of time. One, there was the inauguration to be arranged meaning the handover of government, the handover officially of State House. Then there is soon to be the opening of parliament, then after that immediately there must be a budget speech. So you have seen the Finance Minister come into play. The President has a plan and he has at least whispered to us and he has told us ‘gentlemen, relax but I’m doing this in phases’. We know that having lost terribly, the PF is looking for every scandal to scandalize our President, they are seeing things which we can’t see.”
And Fube said the appointment of Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane as Finance Minister was the right choice as he had vast experience and was highly qualified.
“Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane is a serious, highly acclaimed economist, totally qualified. He has held the position of BOZ governor, he has been Finance Minister before, he has worked for the IMF. What more credentials do you want? Just by that alone in terms of merit, he merits the job. He is also in the UPND alliance. He is in the management team of the UPND alliance and as far as we are concerned, he is the best candidate we have right now. He has been there as a faithful loyal member of the party. He is one of those outstanding shining examples we can point at, but what’s more respected is his integrity. You can’t question that, there is no substitute for experience, none. Honorable Musokotwane has held that position, he is so qualified he frightens me,” he said.
“When he is running the Ministry of Finance, we are comfortable and I think the President took time before he appointed him. Also, historically when he was Finance Minister, this country was always on the up, we never went down. You can’t say that for a lot of Finance Ministers we have had, no! So for me, people who are complaining about Dr Musokotwane are misplaced. We are so comfortable with this appointment, the economy is going to start blossoming.”
Fube urged President Hichilema to ensure that he united the country by preaching unity.
“I think the greatest asset President Hichilema has is the goodwill from the Zambian people, but more so he has a very good team. He has the alliance partners with him. These are people that have got different experiences, ideal systems, different belief systems but with one common goal, to unify the country. So what the President must do, much more than what we saw the previous government do is unify this country, not just rhetorically but practically. And I’m glad to report that, that is happening today. He is bringing the nation together. It is one of the first things he told me. He said if we are going to win these elections, we must bring back unity. So he should bring the nation together. The best way to bring the nation together is to preach unity, we should not stop. Unity of purpose, how we can come together and what unites us,” he said.
Fube said the UPND Alliance was aware that Zambians could vote them out the same way they voted for them if they did not live up to their expectations.
“We must preach that we must bring the nation to a level where the economy is sustainable for the average Zambians. That is very important because if we miss that, we would have missed a lot of things. Zambians would come back and say ‘but you said [you will do this], and you are not doing’. Zambians also are not very patient these days. We have got 82 percent of this nation being youths, they are on phone, they are on social media, they follow things and if you don’t live up to their expectations, they will line up again in gowns and vote you out. So we are very wary of that, we know what they want, we have a blueprint of how we want to move this economy, we are ready for that,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fube said the law would take its course against anyone who may have committed crimes in the previous government.
“President Hakainde Hichilema has said he is not there to start arresting people for the sake of arresting people. He is not there to go and start punishing people for the sake of punishing them just because they did something to him. However, we are also not going to forget that if a crime is committed, there are different levels and layers of forgiveness. Now I speak as a Christian, if I come to you and say ‘I’m sorry’ that’s a confession, I am asking for your forgiveness. It is up to you to forgive me. Stage two, there must be restitution, now I speak economically. I think if you read the Bible as much as I do, there is always restitution to the guy or the nation that has been injured and as a Christian, we must take all those levels,” said.
“So if we think and feel there must be a sense of restitution to the nation and we think and feel certain things were not done properly, there will be ways and means of paying back to the nation. There will have to be investigations and if those investigations point in a direction where we think and feel something wrong was done and this thing is so big that it can’t go, the law will visit [such people] that I can promise you. The rule of law will have to be adhered to and institutions of good governance will move in.”
KBF assured youths that the UPND government had plans for them.
“Cadreism per se is not a job. I think the PF took advantage of the ignorance of our people, the lack of education of some of our people and most importantly, poverty. They made politics part of their agenda and to make sure that the Zambian youths remained in power, that the Zambian youths did not have an opportunity, and the Zambian youths were not selected on merit. Therefore, if you do not sing for the PF you are kicked out or thrown into the streets. This will not happen in the UPND alliance,” said KBF
“Let me assure you, the UPND alliance has got a programme for the youths. We have always argued and we shall argue that the youths of Zambia who make 82 percent of this country will have to come first because it is them who really went out to change this government. So those who used to sit around the stations, we need you to understand that the plans we have for you are going to include informal sector employment.”