KASENENGWA PF member of parliament Philemon Twasa says it is wrong for government to get a loan in order to build high schools in selected provinces.
Finance Minister Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane recently announced that government acquired a loan from the World Bank meant to build high schools in provinces which were previously neglected.
But in an interview, Twasa said he expected Kasenengwa to be prioritised because the PF government did not construct schools in the constituency.
“The question is when did the government get this loan? Is it the time when they went for the United Nations General Assembly? Those are some of the questions. If they got a loan only for some selected provinces then that is wrong. This is the same thing that this government was preaching about. They said they would be inclusive and they want to provide development across the country. So they cannot get a loan only for some selected regions in the country. I think that is totally wrong. In my constituency in Kasenengwa, we only have one boarding secondary school which was built by the MMD government. If that is the case then we expect Kasenengwa to be a priority because the PF did not do any construction of schools or secondary schools in Kasenengwa,” he said.
“So I think that insinuation is wrong. If they got a loan to build secondary schools, they should get that loan for all schools across the country, not in some selected constituencies or selected regions, that is wrong. Already I want to lobby for two boarding secondary schools in Kasenengwa because learners go to weekly boarding schools of which these kinds of arrangements are not effective at all. If anything they just promote bad behaviour and all such kind of vices. So my take is if they got a loan to build secondary schools, then that should be across the country and not just selected regions across the country. That would be totally wrong.”
And Twasa said it would be difficult to run a smooth government if President Hakainde Hichilema continues to delay making appointments in critical positions.
“Of course it is a worry to everyone else because we feel we have a lot of projects that are supposed to be implemented and if controlling officers are not in their offices then we expect these projects to delay. The smooth running of government requires that all the critical positions are filled up. Therefore we have seen a tendency with the new dawn government that they are doing things haphazardly. To me, they are operating like people who were not ready for the job or they were not prepared. You do not fire people in such important positions and take so much time to have them replaced,” he said.
“So if they are working on assumptions or suspicion that these people know very well that they authorised certain permits, let them speed up the investigations so that if these people are found wanting, they should be taken to the courts of law and let the law take its course. If there is nothing, the President has got powers to fire or hire, so if he feels that the same controlling officers should continue in the offices, let him replace them so that we have a smooth running of government. Otherwise, we fear a lot of things being slowed down and so on. It is because we do not have critical positions filled up. This is also going to affect the running of government,”
Twasa said the UPND government should not use emotions as they run the government but should do things on principle.
“If he is doing it to settle political scores and so on then that is very unfortunate. I do not think you can smoothly run government like that. So I would urge Mr President to do the right thing. There are people who were appointed by the former President but they really did not have a personal relationship with him or did anything mischievous that should jeopardise the running of a particular government entity or a Ministry. So I feel as we run government we should not use our emotions and whatever we do should be on principle,” said Twasa.