VICE-PRESIDENT Mutale Nalumango has urged individuals who served in the previous regime to surrender all the funds they dubiously acquired, saying the money will not take them anywhere.
And Vice-President Nalumango says government has a master plan to revive the country’s ailing economy, which includes job creation.
Responding to questions during Vice-President’s question time, Friday, Vice-President Nalumango warned that under declaring stolen assets would lead to prosecution.
“This government says we will govern by the rule of law, therefore proper investigations must be done, the court processes must go on using the laws that we have. We have plenty of laws that can help. I know that you don’t have to have property and not prove how you acquired [it], you can be followed. Just go and prove in court, how you acquired that property. So we have laws that should be able to take care of that but, financial crimes are not the easiest to prosecute because there is too much entanglement, too many people get involved and it becomes so difficult to prosecute effectively and convict,” Vice-President Nalumango said.
“For me, the appeal is to colleagues whoever was involved in this, that money will not take you anywhere. Just surrender it, because there is room in the law under ACC that you can bring yourself and then the state will handle it, you may not be prosecuted. If you have 100 million and you only give us 50 and you hide 50, when we find that 50 we will prosecute you, that is what the law implies.”
And responding to a question from Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Brian Mundubile on what government’s plan was to revive the economy as a number of citizens, including former commerce and trade minister Bob Sichinga, had lost confidence, Vice-President Nalumango said government was working hard to achieve its master plan, which also included dealing with the debt left by PF.
“When you talk about multi-sectoral integrated development, we are right there. We are where we are with the indebtedness, let us be ashamed sometimes honestly. Let us sometimes admit, why do you think Zambians voted the way they voted? Did they hate them? They didn’t hate you gentlemen on the left of Madam Speaker, you were still loved by Zambians but you performed so badly. That is a fact, they chose to remove you. We have ourselves a master plan of development. People go [around] talking that ‘they have no plan’, I will not talk about somebody who is not even here, maybe that somebody you have referred to Mr Sichinga needs to come to my office and tell me his plan. He was there, what have they left in the pot? Indebtedness!” she said.
“We must first remove the rubble and the rubble is the debt that you have left for the Zambians. We must remove the rubble! Zambia is in such indebtedness and the rubble can include all sorts of things, wrong things that were done. We have a duty to the Zambians, they voted us in; we have a master plan. They voted for us because they saw the manifesto. Today, Madam Speaker, we are working very hard on our own master plan. We are removing the rubbles, wait and see because you were there 10 years and brought the GDP and everything down from where you found it. We are here six months and yet you want to condemn us no! President Hakainde is very clear, the vision of the UPND is very clear, the master plan, our manifesto is working and will continue, the rubble is getting out of the way. The vision is getting clearer, we have done many things, it is still multi sectoral and integrated.”
Meanwhile, Vice-President Nalumango said government had not backtracked on its campaign promise of employing health workers and teachers because job creation was part of the economic master plan.
“I have the speech of the Minister of Finance, I don’t remember him talking of 44 [thousand], so that figure is something strange. It was 41 [thousand] in total because there were 30,000 teachers and 11,000 health workers. Yes, there will be recruitment that may happen along the way as need arises, but in the speech, even as we were coming in this was our plan. Therefore honourable members there is totally no shift in the issue of employment, but as we go on, we may find that there is a vacuum somewhere, we need to employ, that may happen. The Minister did not say in January, it is in the budget 2022, it will happen within 2022. I remember one of my Ministers here saying money is not released at the goal, this is general everywhere and therefore we will do just that. Job creation is one of our plans on our master plan, therefore giving employment to Zambians is what we are committed to, job creation is part of that economic master plan. During the time of President Hakainde Hichilema, we shall see jobs created, both formal and informal,” said Vice-President Nalumango.
However, Pambashe PF member of parliament Ronald Chitotela rose on a point of order, stating that the Vice President misled the nation when she said government, in its budget, did not promise 44,000 jobs but 41,000.
In her ruling, Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti said Vice-President Nalumango was out of order.
“With regards to the numbers whether 41,000 or 44,000, maybe it was a mistake in terms of numbers. To that extent as long as there were different numbers that were given, then her honour the Vice President was out of order,” said Speaker Mutti.