By Daily Revelation reporter
More Chiefs have been earmarked to receive cash bonanza from State House in exchange for mobilising their subjects to support President Edgar Lungu ahead of next year’s tripartite elections.
President Lungu’s campaign has adopted a radical approach to win Zambians’ support by targeting influential people such traditional leaders, who he feels have so much influence over their subjects.
PF sources who accompanied the President in Eastern Province a couple of days ago revealed to Daily Revelation that when President Lungu was in the province he met a number of traditional leaders whom he directly sought their support ahead of next year’s elections.
Sources said while the President’s campaign promised traditional leaders many things, the immediate benefit to the chiefs was cash.
Sources said the Presidential campaign move with stacks of cash to dish out to influential personalities like traditional leadership in exchange for political support.
They said, while in the Province, some chiefs receive as much as K10,000 each, while others got less with a promise of addition once they see that they were doing good work on the ground.
Sources said an agreement was entered into with a named paramount chief to recruit other traditional leaders to support President Lungu’s third term bid.
“You know what we mean by this. In fact, he (named paramount chief) is currently hitting the ground, approaching other chiefs: Ngoni, Chewa, Nsenga, and Tumbuka chiefs to rally behind the President. If you like, you can ask chief Mphikamalaza and other chiefs. These are among the chiefs that this paramount chief is targeted to convince,” the sources said.
They said, the whole plan is that once they are convinced, they would be brought to Lusaka to receive more cash, motor vehicles and other gifts for them to convince their subjects to rally behind President Lungu. The paramount chief himself, apart from receiving huge sums, will be receiving more with each visit undertaken to Lusaka.
“Already some of the chiefs are already here and the paramount chief himself is expected here later in the today,” the source said.
“The plan is well defined. Just watch the space,” sources said.
And sources further disclosed how Patriotic Front (PF) cadres fought over money in Mambwe following the President’s visit to the district.
They explained that when President Lungu was leaving the district, PF members in the mobilisation left about K900,000 for party cadres to share.
Sources said, however, cadres did not want to share the money equally, which led to a scuffle.
“The person with whom the money was left said, we need to sit down as a team and share the money equally. But as you know, other cadres said we can’t. Some of the people you want us to share this money were not even here; so why should we share with them? Then, one cadre just came and grabbed the bag of money and started running. So, people started chasing him and he was caught and patched down,” sources continued. “So, when he fell down, the bag opened and the money was scattered all over the place, then people just started to get whatever their hands could lay on. It was a scuffle; it was bad. But the good thing is that when this was happening, the President and his entourage had already left. Otherwise, it was going to be a big embarrassment to the President.”
Well placed sources in the traditional establishment in the Province, PF officials and government officials collaborated information with Daily Revelation media that chiefs and headmen were paid money recently during President Lungu’s campaigns in the area, with three chiefs in Lundazi told to travel to Lusaka to get three vehicles.
Sources said the chiefs in Chipata were paid K5000 each, with a prominent one receiving over K250,000, and that the 42 headmen who were gathered at Anoya Zulu school were paid K500 each.
The sources said the amounts received by the chiefs in Lundazi were increased to K10,000 each, plus the promise of vehicles to some.
“The plan is to turn up vote margins in areas like Eastern Province, therefore the headmen have more or less been appointed as campaign managers as they are the ones who interact face to face with the people,” sources said. “The boss himself promised them, when a headman Jere complained about the difficulties they were experiencing, the boss said he would instruct that they be paid through the social cash transfer.”
The other promise given to the traditional leaders is that each headman in the Province will receive a bicycle to help with their movements.
“This whole campaign here is tainted with corruption. The boss seems determined to win the 2021 elections at all cost. We are just wondering where all this money is coming from. We hope the Bank of Zambia is not printing extra money out of circulation as the people feared with the appointment of Christopher Mvunga,” the sources said. “In our view, the boss is more preoccupied with winning the election despite the challenges being experienced in the country, like the shameful label of being labeled debt defaulters.”-Daily Revelation