FORMER Finance Minister Ng’andu Magande says President Hakainde Hichilema should discourage the notion of the Industrial Development Corporation investing in companies that make tiles, in an apparent reference to Marcopolo Tiles.
And Magande says while he is happy that the new Cabinet represents all the regions of the country, he thinks a younger person should have been appointed to head the Science and Technology Ministry.
Meanwhile, Maganda has asked the opposition Patriotic Front to apologise to citizens for trying to divide the country along tribal lines.
In an interview, Magande said IDC was becoming a very big animal.
“I would like to propose that the President gets rid of this notion about government going into business. The Industrial Development Corporation, we had all these government parastatals, and now IDC was becoming a very big animal. People say that that is how government can get money but when you go down, you find it is not government making money, it is the individuals who are in those companies who have become so powerful. I think I would want to discourage the President from getting this IDC to start owning a tile-making factory. What is tile making that can’t be done by some private people that can be assisted with the financing and technology by the government? We don’t want the government to be diverted to go to the old systems,” he said.
And Magande said a younger person should have been appointed to head the Science and Technology Ministry instead of Felix Mutati.
“I was impressed by Science and Technology and all I can say is that I know the minister who has been put there very well. I want to ask him if he can now ask the President if he can be swapped with another person, a younger person who can develop the digitalisation and the ICT industry. I don’t think the minister who has been put there, I know him, I know what his interests are, but that is not his interests. But I am happy that there is that ministry. I know he is somebody who likes numbers, being a qualified accountant perhaps he can get something else. But I think we have a lot of younger people who can fit in very well,” Magande said.
Meanwhile, Magande said he was happy that people who tried to divide the country lost elections, adding that the PF should apologise to citizens.
“The Cabinet that has been appointed by name, it is represented by different parts of the country. I think all of us were scared about what could have happened if PF and the previous president won for another five years. There was definitely a deliberate move to divide Zambians into different compartments on a clear tribal basis. And that was not indicating positive hope or building a united and prosperous Zambia. I am happy the people that were trying to divide Zambians lost the elections,” he said.
“A lot of people feel that the people who were trying to divide this country on tribal basis and giving messages of hate, messages of a possible fight amongst the Zambians, having failed, they should come out in the open and apologize. There are a lot of silent sufferers, people who were brutalized for nothing. There were a lot of people who felt that this country did not belong to them because of the hate which was going on. I think for those who realize that their message did not go through, let them come out and say they are sorry for what they wanted to do. To me, that would be part of the healing process because President Hichilema is prepared to forgive but a lot of people will not forget.”
Magande also pleaded with President Hichilema to remove references to tribe in some government documentation.
“But for those people to move ahead, they have to know that those people who wanted to destroy the country by bringing up issues of division have lost. The new Cabinet has to work out mechanisms of consolidating the unity of this country. One of the things I have been anticipating is for the removal of all issues that have to do with tribes in the documentation of government. For example, when you go there and you want to apply for some of these facilities of government, somewhere in the application, they will write tribe. I have been saying we don’t need that kind of description in some of these government documentations. I want to plead with President Hichilema to work as quickly as possible to try to remove these references to tribes in some of our documentation,” he pleaded.
Magande asked former president Edgar Lungu not to talk about unity, arguing that the latter tried to destroy the country.
“The other day I heard the former president (Edgar Lungu) saying this new government must work on unity; he is one of those people that never did anything to do with a united Zambia. If you look at his Cabinet now that he is out, let him say how he was selecting his cabinet where you find that some regions are not represented. I think for Lungu, some of us who are older than him, we think he will do himself a service and this country if he was to keep quiet and stop talking about Zambia which he wanted to destroy,” said Magande.