DEMOCRATIC Party leader Harry Kalaba says he is aware of some government cartels who are trying to destabilise his party.

Meanwhile, Kalaba says President Hakainde Hichilema’s continued use of his private residence is not only an inconvenience to his neighbours but also poses a risk to the Presidency.

At a media briefing, Thursday, Kalaba insinuated that UPND was sponsoring confusion and leadership wrangles in DP.

“We would like to remind our colleagues in government today that we are aware of the machinations taking place to frustrate the opposition and stifle democracy. Look, you have seen of late, you have made news here ‘Harry Kalaba has been kicked out of the DP’. Let me tell you that, we know where that is coming from and that is why we said it here. We know who is doing that and we can tell you that the DP is ready to defend itself and that nobody will shake what we have started. I want to remind you that in 2008, what is happening today, happened to President Sata. It didn’t go anywhere. What is happening, happened to President Hakainde Hichilema himself. I was telling my colleagues that when you begin seeing such things, you should be happy because it is telling you that you are getting there. Why haven’t they gone to these others? I don’t want to mention [them], why? Because DP is the choice of the people and Zambians are saying ‘it’s Harry Kalaba’ and you think the devil is happy? We are standing on Isaiah 59: 19,” he said.

Kalaba said his party would expose people who had formed a cartel with the intention of fraudulently amassing wealth from government.

“I would like to remind those who have started creating cartels with the intention of fraudulently amassing wealth from the government that we are watching you and we shall soon present you to the people to be judged by the same yardstick that was used against the PF government. The people of Zambia will not tolerate corrupt elements in the running of government who are keen on enriching themselves at the expense of the suffering majority. We will ensure that all dubious and illegal transactions are exposed for all to see,” he said.

And Kalaba said government’s delay in appointing permanent secretaries had created a void in their operations.

“The DP would like to join scores of Zambians who have raised their voices at how long it has taken the government to make key government appointments including such important positions as controlling officers, as in PSs. In the operation of government, as a controlling officer, a PS is a key accountable person in the running of a ministry and therefore the delay in the appointment of PSs has created a void in the operation of government. We are therefore calling upon the President to hasten the process of appointing senior government officials to allow for the smooth running of government. Any further delay in making appointments goes to highlight the lack of preparedness in UPND’s ability to form government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kalaba said President Hichilema’s continued use of his private residence was not only an inconvenience to his neighbours but also posed a risk to the Presidency.

“The DP is concerned that the Presidency is being taken lightly in the manner that the detail around the President is being handled. We are alive to the fact that the President has taken some actions that potentially compromises the Presidency. It is important to note that the country is not short of qualified people who are trained in the management of the presidency and yet, the Head of State has opted to create a shield between himself and highly trained presidential security,” he said.

“We are also concerned that the continued use of his private residence poses a risk to the Presidency as only State House and State Lodge were made with the full features and systems that are secure enough to protect a Head of State. His continued use of his private residence is not just an inconvenience to the residents who are stopped every time he is moving to and from but also a security challenge as his handlers have to deal with a road that was not specifically made to manage the movement of a President.”

Kalaba also expressed concern on the late start in the distribution of farming inputs for the 2021/2022 farming season.

“The DP is concerned with the late start in the distribution of farming inputs for the 2021/2022 farming season and if urgent action is not taken this may result in a reduction in the yield next year and subsequently result in food shortages. Besides the promise to reduce the price of fertilizer during the campaigns, the UPND have not just failed to meet their commitment but are now asking farmers to make arrangements to collect inputs and bear the cost of transporting the inputs,” said Kalaba.