PF secretary general Davies Mwila has wondered why the UPND government has remained quiet on the Faith Musonda case, alleging that maybe the money she was caught with belongs to them.

And Mwila has wondered why President Hakainde Hichilema has taken so long to appoint new permanent secretaries when there are so many capable people like Professor Oliver Saasa, Chibamba Kanyama and Rueben Lifuka who are capable of holding those positions.

In an interview, Mwila said it was unfortunate that the UPND government had accused the PF of stealing government funds but were yet to provide substantial evidence on the claims.

“The challenge I am giving to the UPND, when they were in opposition they used to talk too much, they said we sold NRDC, we sold ZAFFICO, let them tell the people if we sold those entities. Look at Faith Musonda’s case, they came out excited, they are quiet now, why? Why are they quiet? Does that money belong to them? Maybe that money belongs to them, why are they quiet?” Mwila asked.

“They said PF ministers stole money from the government coffers, it is now two months, let them show the Zambian people. They say [PF] stole money, let the show if we stole the money, let them show, that is what we are waiting for. Why are they quiet on Forest 27? Because President Hakainde’s Ministers are there. The way they came the other week ‘no forest 27’, now they are quiet. Can they produce a list of all those who got plots from there? We have got a list, I know the people who are here, his people are there. They are now in government why are they quiet today? We are not there; they have access to all government offices.”

And Mwila said the delay in appointing Permanent Secretaries in some Ministries was affecting the operations of government.

“Government is not run by Ministers; it is run by the controlling officers who are Permanent Secretaries. So, if the controlling officer is not there, everything is stuck, everything can’t move, because those are the ones who control the funding in the Ministries, those are the ones who handle projects in the Ministries. So, if they are not there, government cannot function. Even if a Minister is there, it cannot function unless there is a PS. That is why when we go for elections the Permanent Secretaries remain and government continues running. So I can tell you that they were not ready to govern,” he said.

“I agree with honourable [Given] Lubinda, they were just ready to petition because they couldn’t expect that they were going to win. That is the problem, he doesn’t have the people. If he had the people, he was going to appoint, how does it take you one month to appoint 20 Permanent Secretaries? We have capable people all over, bene Oliver Saasa, they can run, Lee Habasonda, they can run, all those are capable people. Chibamba Kanyama can run, [Rueben] Lifuka can run, there are many. Even in Parliament they are behaving like they are in opposition. Their celebration must come to an end, they must start working because Zambian people are waiting for the results.”

Meanwhile, Mwila said he was confident that the people of Kaumbwe would vote for PF because the party had done a lot for the people.

“We have started the process of bringing in new leaders, so we are not so active. So Nakacinda, Lubinda, ba Kambwili, Chilangwa, those are the ones who are actively involved, I am doing administration. We have to retain the Kaumbwe seat, that was our seat. Moreover, the people of Kaumbwe will vote for us because of what we did for them. As we are talking, even farmers can’t access the empty grain bags for maize. Government is failing to provide, so they are regretting it. Even in America a President is given 100 days, in 100 days he makes critical decisions, but here what has he done in two months? Nothing!” said Mwila.

“They can’t even pay any contractor, any supplier, there is no money in circulation, people are suffering. Yes it is a PF budget, [but it is a continuation, things that are wrong you don’t implement them, things which are good, you implement them. Not all the things that we did were bad. We constructed Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport, it is good for them, even their Ministers are using it. So as far as we are concerned, we are going to carry the day in Kaumbwe.”