I CANNOT respect a thieving President and I have no apologies to make, says Chishimba Kambwili.
Addressing the media at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court today, Kambwili said he would not respect President Edgar Lungu, who went to ground break a project that cost $154 million without questioning the price.
However, during the laying of the foundation stone on August 9, 2017 in Lupososhi Constoituency in Luwingu, Presdent Lungu said “ultra modern hospital, the Bangweulu regional hospital, will be constructed at the cost of K154, 174 340.72.
“I want to appeal to the Zambians to take this country and what some of us say very seriously because the things that I talk about it’s not for me, it’s not for Jackson Mubanga Kamwalala Kambwili – my father – it’s not for my children but for the country,” he said. “And if you people of Zambia don’t want to take this country seriously, don’t complain of hunger, don’t complain of suffering because we are also getting tired of continuing talking about things and yet you people who are affected are not taking it seriously.”
He wondered how the cost of a hospital of the same design and shape could rise from $34 million to $154 million.
“In this country we need to say enough is enough of the stealing by this government. It is becoming too much,” Kambwili said.
He called for action from citizens saying they should not be laughing while President Lungu and his government were visibly amassing wealth under the pretext of working.
He alleged that President Lungu had interest in the Luwingu hospital.
“Look, President Edgar Lungu over the weekend went to Luwingu to go and do a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a hospital which they are calling Bangweulu Regional Hospital, but the regional hospital that he went to inaugurate, three of them are being built…one here in Lusaka, same design, it’s near the airport, it is called a specialised hospital. This Lusaka specialised hospital is going to cost $34 million together with all the equipment and training of personnel for six months and another will be built in Chief Kalindawalo’s Kingdom in Petauke and will also cost $34 million with all the equipment and training of personnel for six months and another one will be built in Chinsali, same structure and model,” Kambwili said. “But the only difference is that the one which is going to be built in Luwingu, the tender and everything was done within the Ministry of Health while these other three hospitals, the tender was done by the housing and infrastructure ministry. But listen to this; the ones that were done by the housing and infrastructure ministry were all costing $34 million but this one which was done by Ministry of Health under [health minister Dr Chitalu] Chilufya and his girlfriend who is the PS (permanent secretary) and chairman of the tender committee, the same hospital is going to cost government $154 million.
“$154 million… Do you know what $154 million can build? It’s a building bigger than UTH. This thing they are building will be called a general hospital, a general hospital to cost $154 million while three general hospitals in Lusaka, Kalindawalo’s kingdom and in Chinsali are costing $34 million each with all the equipment elo imwe muletamba ati ba President balebomba but umunenu alepoketa (but you are watching saying the President is working while he pockets money).”
Kambwili wondered how President Lungu could allow a minister and the PS to control the tender.
“And by the way just to build a hospital do you need the President to go and ground break? Ba DC bakulacita inshi, ba Mayor bakulahita inshi…(What will the district commissioner be doing? What will the mayor be doing?) It’s because the man has got an interest in that tender which cost five times more than actual cost,” he said. “Bakabwalala imwe muleipaya abantu (You thieves are killing people). I am calling upon the Anti-Corruption Commission, DEC to investigate who tendered for the hospital, how it was awarded and by the way, the contractor is Sunshare and you know that Sunshare there is an allegation that they are building flats for Chitalu Chilufya, the Minister of Health, you know that Sunshare has been sponsoring Chitalu Chilufya’s projects in the constituency…? Ba Kaunda ruled this country for 27 years and the time he was leaving office, to check his account they found that he had only $8,000 equal to about K8 million. For 27 years but Lungu rules this country for one year he leaps from K1 million to K23 million! I am telling you they will finish this country from stealing its resources while you watch but when we talk you think we are joking.”
Kambwili said he had been in government and had experience.
“And I know how these people are stealing. And we are allowing Lungu, two years before elections, today is the 12th of August, a very special day…it simply means, because our Constitution says elections shall be held on the 12th kwashala (remaining) two solid years but Lungu has started campaigning so ifi alepitana na tu Mukupa, Mumbi Phiri ni campaign ilya balecita, balemishinga butter pa menso uku baleiba balebika mumatumba yabo (They are smearing butter on your face, one hand they are stealing, putting money in their pockets while campaigning),” said Kambwili. “Say no to these thieves otherwise mukatampa ukulya abana benu (you will start eating your children). Tell us how the cost has escalated from $34 million to $154 million, do you know what $154 million can do? … They are saying you must respect the President…President who cannot put one plus one together, that it’s equal to two, he goes to ground break a hospital which is costing $34 million in other areas but is costing $154 million and he says ‘respect me’.”