HOME Affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu says government will ensure that the money which will be recovered from looters is channeled to developmental projects like the construction of modern police stations.

Responding to a question from Chama South PF member of parliament Davison Mung`andu in Parliament, Tuesday, who wanted to know whether government was able to give a specific period in which a modern police station would be built in Pemba, Mwiimbu said government was confident that once recoveries were made, money would be available for that project.

“Madam Speaker, the honourable member for Chama South has indicated that cattle rustling in Pemba was rampant and as a result, the people of Pemba want a police station. Madam Speaker, I want to state very clearly here that the people of Pemba in my discourse with them, are not crying for a police station because of cattle rustling, they are crying for a police station to ensure that those individuals who will not find space in available police stations countrywide, can be accommodated in Pemba. Madam Speaker, the issue is that government coffers are empty, they were emptied by certain individuals who had authority in this country. Those individuals are being pursued by the security agencies in this country and we are confident that once recoveries are made, which will be substantial, money will be available to build the police station,” he said.

“Madam Speaker, I did indicate that the government of Zambia hasn’t got adequate funds to fund these developmental projects. When we make some recoveries, some of the money will go towards these projects as we did when we recovered some money from a certain individual, I won’t mention. That money went towards funding bursaries. In the same vein, when we make recoveries, that money will be made available to the Ministry of Finance and it will be budgeted and projects will be able to be carried by the government of Zambia.”

And when asked by Kabushi PF lawmaker Bowman Lusambo on whether government was considering extending the recovery of looted funds to as far back as the privatisation period, Mwiimbu said he was not aware of anyone who plundered government resources through privatisation.

“As Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, I am not aware of anyone who plundered government resources through privatization. But I am aware of so many individuals who held high offices of government who have looted and some of them have already been arrested, those ones I am aware [of]. I also want to make it clear that the policy of completing those projects that are above 80 percent, was a policy of the PF. That policy is still subsisting, we inherited a government and that is why we are saying until we review this particular policy, we cannot do anything,” said Mwiimbu.

“Further, the coffers of government are empty and we have been very consistent on that matter. That is why we are saying when we find money, we will embark on these projects. One of the ways of finding money is through the recoveries of money that were plundered. The Minister of Local Government on the floor of this House has told us how much money was plundered by those who were in government and those who are supporters of that government. More than K4.5 billion was paid to those individuals, which individuals did nothing, and which individuals supplied air to government. We have made a commitment to the people of this country that we shall recover that money. Once we recover that money, that money will be channeled to developmental projects that will benefit the people of Zambia.”