By Patson Chilemba
Former finance minister Ng’andu Magande says the silence from President Edgar Lungu and PF over Bowman Lusambo’s statement that K2 million is nothing to report Tasila to the ACC for, clearly indicates that stealing is now a general policy in government.
Speaking with Daily Revelation on Lusaka Province minister Bowman Lusambo’s comment that K2 million was nothing that ruling PF member Colonel Panji Kaunda should report President Lungu’s daughter, Tasila, to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for, Magande said what Lusambo meant for describing K2 million as nothing, and that Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s children failed to use their opportunity for the 27 years their father was in power, was that those who served in government before and did not amass as much wealth as he has done in just four years, were stupid.
He said it was particularly disappointing that such a statement could come from Lusambo, who a few years ago would frequent his residence to ask for money to buy fuel.
“And that (Lusambo’s comments) includes me because we did not abuse public resources. That’s being very ungrateful…for Bowman who a few years ago was coming to my house to get money for petrol to say those who served in government were not clever to steal public money,” Magande said. “When I read that I nearly wanted to ring State House to say can you remove this man from office.”
Magande later in the interview requested for the numbers of one of the President’s aides, saying he wanted to speak directly to the President on Lusambo’s insensitive comments.
He said it was clear that Lusambo did not understand what public office was meant for, as even the offices we was working from were built using taxpayers money, saying he must be more respectful to the first Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda and his family.
Magande said it was a serious indictment on the whole government system that Lusambo had made these comments, following in the footsteps of his own bosses directives that “ubomba mwibala alya mwibala.”
“I can see why people are getting rich while the people who are supposed to be the beneficiaries are getting poorer and poorer. And the other time they were showing the properties that he has acquired in a very short time. Where did he get the money from?” Magande said. “It is means there is a general policy for everybody to steal. Colonel Panji Kaunda talked about the President’s daughter, when did Lusambo become a relative of the President?”
Magande said hearing statements promoting public looting, showed that there was something seriously wrong in the management of this country.
“If there is no respect for the people who made this country what it is, if Lusambo can say that, what do you make of his children? What will they say for people like Dr Kaunda and us, if the father can be that derogatory?” Asked Magande.
Lusambo said Col Panji and his brothers lost out in the opportunity to put their lives in order during the 27 years their father, Dr Kaunda was in office, and therefore should not feel jealousy for Tasila.
Lusambo said K2 million was nothing to start reporting Tasila to the investigate wings for, as some even use that same amount of money just for shopping.
“You people this is not a time to start PHD, pulling her down pulling him down. This is a time to start clapping for people who are doing well. This is a time to start encouraging Zambians to have money. This is the time. I went to China, I met with a colleague, the governors there who were telling me that for us as China we want to have our own billionaires, our own millionaires in dollars so that we can run our economy ourselves,” Lusambo said. “We don’t want to run this economy depending on other people. But we can only do that if we stop jealousy in our country because K2 million there are a lot of people in this country who have more than that money. A lot of people, a lot. So if for arguments sake she spent K2 million, what is K2 million? What is K2 million? We have businessmen, we have people doing other things in this country with K2 million.”
Lusambo said civil servants were getting that amount of money in pensions, including those in parastatals.
“What is K2million, the money which we can even start talking about? K2 million people go out and do the shopping, with K2million. They do the shopping with K2 million. And investigating what? What has she stolen? She has stolen from who?” Lusambo asked. “So Patson let Panji actually concentrate on other things which can add value to the wellbeing of Zambians and I am happy that Panji is in Chipata.” -Daily Revelation