We may question why Chishimba Kambwili is saying what he saying today, but we cannot dismiss what he is saying. He is talking a lot of sense.
Kambwili is raising very important issues about Edgar Lungu and his government that deserve honest responses.
Kambwili says it raises suspicion that “an individual” who not long ago had no money is the one littering Lusaka with all sorts of structures, including casinos.
“This current PF leadership is a problem and it must be removed. It is not the original PF [but] it is the MMD-PF; it is the Rupiah Banda-Edgar-MMD-PF! That’s what we have now. The same people that we removed from power are the same people now that are running this government. What do you expect? For instance, the people of Zambia wanted the Kasumbalesa Border Post to come back to government and run it. But today, because the Rupiah Banda factor has come back, the Kasumbalesa Border Post has been given back to the Israelites. Today, we are seeing the building of Ndola Airport! [But] I don’t think we need an airport in Ndola to spend so much money and I doubt if that airport can cost K500 million. We need to do a forensic audit of that airport [because] I doubt if it can cost K500 million; probably the cost should be about K200 million, if not K150 million. But because people have got vested interests in those projects…Those were Rupiah Banda’s projects and today, all the Rupiah Banda pending projects have come back. One wonders what the priority of this government is; to improve the living standards of the people or to continue doing projects where they have got interests? My heart bleeds to see the PF that we created, the PF that was the voice of miners, today being relegated only to the rich. The Zambian people need to rise to the occasion and say enough is enough; we can’t continue running the country like this where when you go to Lusaka, every building belongs to the same individual. Where has he gotten the money from in one year to build? We all build but you build one property at a time – you can’t be building 10 to 15 projects [as] an individual without businesses! Where have you gotten the money from? We need to fight and bring a stop to this [because] Zambia is not for certain individuals but for all Zambians. When ordinary people cannot even have a meal, others are building 21 projects; flats, houses, casinos all over and you say you are a leader! Come on, Zambians; we deserve better,” says Kambwili.
“We created PF as a voice of the voiceless, including our workers and our farmers. But what is happening in this country today is sad where the leadership is preoccupied with making their own money. [They are] getting so rich within one year and they can’t even explain where they’ve gotten their wealth [from]. When you traverse Lusaka, you’ll see so many buildings coming up and when you ask, those buildings belong to one and the same individual. Where has this individual gotten the money from which he never had? It is sad! The other day, Kaizar Zulu called me in the night telling me that ‘we shall make sure that you are always in court; you are going to spend all your money paying lawyers until you are broke; we have the government machinery.’ [But] I told him that Kaizar, bring even five million cases against me…Yes, I will spend time in court, I will spend money with the lawyers but you’ll not kill my vision. The plan for these people is to take me to court on trumped up charges so that I can be broke, according to Kaizar. I want to tell Kaizar that I will spend time in court and be acquitted [but] him will spend two days in court and be jailed because he owes the Zambian people a lot of explanations on where he has gotten all that money he has. He boasts that I’m the only civil servant who doesn’t drive useless government vehicles because I have got posh latest cars of my own [but] he will have to explain where he has gotten the money to buy those posh vehicles and all the farms and other properties he has bought in Lusaka.”
These are not issues Edgar should ignore and keep quiet about. Edgar is being directly challenged by Kambwili to explain the source of his sudden wealth. Everyone knows how financially stressed Edgar was before getting into government. And Edgar has made declarations about his wealth. It’s not in dispute that Edgar’s wealth more than doubled in less than a year of being president. Kambwili has a point, Edgar needs to explain the source of his sudden wealth and probably that of his minions like Kaizar.
It is highly unlikely that Edgar will offer explanations for his wealth. He has to be politically compelled to do so. And there’s no need to wait until he is no longer President for him to account. It’s better it is done while he is in office. Yes, he has immunity but he can be made to answer to moral and ethical pressure and to the court of public opinion.