Kalaba’s conduct nauseating – PFBy Chambwa Moonga on March 11, 2019
THE ruling PF says Democratic Party president Harry Kalaba is a hypocritical politician whose conduct is nauseating.
On Saturday, The Mast quoted Kalaba saying money did not motivate him.
Kalaba, a former foreign affairs minister, branded the PF government as one of businessmen, in it for money and material benefits.
Kalaba, who visited The Mast in Lusaka’s Ibex Hill area last Wednesday, said he was not motivated by money or materialism.
He noted that people should learn to detach, resist and to live without money or material things.
He explained that he had made it part of his life to go without food for two days every week for him to feel how those without felt.
“So, money will not define me,” Kalaba said.
Kalaba said those in government were living luxurious lifestyles and were so detached that they did not know what it meant to live in densely populated Lusaka compounds like Kalingalinga and Chawama.
“We have to harmonise this; we have a chance for the country to start afresh. We want to give Zambia back to Zambians,” Kalaba said.
Kalaba indicated that he was “probably” the only minister who left without acquiring a plot from the Ministry of Lands.
Before becoming a Minister of Foreign Affairs, a position he resigned from in January 2018, Kalaba was lands minister.
“I had to apply to Mr Sata and I still have the letter. When I wanted to get a plot, I applied to president Sata for clearance for me to get a plot and the president answered two months after,” remembered Kalaba.
“As an MP, I gave up my sitting allowance for my constituency to have that money; as a young man, at 36 years old! When I was appointed to be a deputy minister in the Office of the Vice-President, I refused a K300,000 to go and buy furniture in my house; as a young man! I resisted the temptation of going to live near State House in a ministerial house! So, if it was about money that motivates people, that’s not one of my motivations.”
Responding to Kalaba’s remarks, PF deputy media director Antonio Mwanza charged that: “it is hypocritical and very nauseating for Mr Kalaba to try to claim to be a Mr Clean and to try to pretend that he doesn’t like the privileges that come with public office.”
Mwanza said Kalaba spent many years “enjoying” the privileges that were associated with being a minister and being a member of parliament.
“This is a man that has been enjoying gratuity, allowances and all the other privileges. At no time did Mr Kalaba forego his salary, his gratuity or at no time did Mr Kalaba say ‘I don’t want the splendour and pomp that come with being a Cabinet minister. He enjoyed all those things without any problems until he realised that his dream of trying to take over from President Edgar Lungu was not manifesting whilst in PF,” Mwanza told The Mast.
“Therefore, he decided to start fighting for the presidency. So, it is hypocritical and nauseating that a man who spent all his time enjoying these privileges today wants to parade himself as an example of a frugal and decent man who has got nothing to do with what comes with being in public office.”
Mwanza told Kalaba to “stop fooling Zambians by parading himself as a frugal, Mr Clean man.”
“What he should do is to thank President Lungu and thank the Zambian people for all the time that he served as a minister and for the time that he served as an MP and for all the privileges that he enjoyed,” he said.
Mwanza also challenged Kalaba to answer to “a very serious allegation” that while he served as a foreign affairs minister, he caused the deployment of over 25 of his own relatives into the diplomatic service.
“These are very serious allegations because they border on nepotism and abuse of one’s powers and privileges,” he noted.
And Mwanza asked Kalaba what having or not having a plot had to do with political power.
“He says he had to ask for clearance to own a plot…. What has having a plot got to do with power? Even a bus conductor at Misisi bus stop has got a plot! There is nothing having or not having a plot got to do with power,” Mwanza mocked.
“The right to own land is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. If Mr Kalaba decided not to have a plot, that is not a point to talk about!”
Mwanza pointed out further that Kalaba’s claims were annoying, especially to the poor in society.
“He claims that he goes for two days without eating; how hypocritical can this man be! This is very annoying to the people that are suffering. If he really cares about the poor, why can’t he just share what he has? Why doesn’t he open an orphanage or go into the compounds and help? Why should he go to a newspaper and start claiming that he goes for two days without eating?” Mwanza said.
“What difference does it make if Mr Kalaba doesn’t eat for two days? How does that affect a child in Kalingalinga who doesn’t have food? Is Mr Kalaba staying for two days without eating going to put food on the table of a widow in Mtendere? It doesn’t! When he has time, he should read the Bible and read the story of a rich young man who went to Jesus and said ‘I keep all the laws….’”
Meanwhile, Mwanza laughed at Kalaba that while he was aspiring for the Republican presidency, “he goes against the business community!”
He wondered how Kalaba’s government would create jobs for Zambians if he could not promote businesses.
“There is nothing wrong with any minister or any politician in government or outside government doing business as long as it’s legal. Actually, those that are in business are employing a lot of Zambians. Doesn’t Mr Kalaba own a newspaper (New Vision)? Is that not a business? So, why does he have a problem with business when himself has businesses?” noted Mwanza.
“He is a very hypocritical man because he talks about things that he doesn’t do. Wasn’t he in government when he was running that newspaper? He is a very hypocritical politician who wants to pretend that he is Mr Clean, who stands for the poor when in actual fact he is doing what every other politician is doing. So, let him stop his hypocrisy because it’s nauseating!”