UPND, WAKE UP…smell the coffee, HH doesn’t have confidence in his MPs – Kalaba
By Margaret Malenga
CITIZENS First leader Harry Kalaba has charged that President Hakainde Hichilema does not have confidence in his members of parliament, hence the delay to appoint a new foreign affairs minister.
Featuring on Lusaka Radio on Wednesday, Kalaba wondered why it has taken the President long to appoint a new foreign affairs minister despite having members of parliament on the backbench.
“UPND, smell the coffee. Wake up! The President does not have confidence in you members of parliament sitting there because if he had he would have already appointed one of you to head the Ministry [of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation]. Ministry of Foreign Affairs is very critical. You can’t tell me that the only person he thought is capable of being in that ministry was my brother [Stanley] Kakubo, and because Kakubo has gone out he can’t think of anybody,” Kalaba said. “The President took two years to appoint his Cabinet. He is too slow. That man is too slow. He has to be a bit fast in the way he acts on things. You can’t have foreign affairs – as critical as it is – you leave it for two months you haven’t appointed a foreign affairs minister. There was a vacancy in Luapula… he has got all these members of parliament, these on the backbench, doesn’t he trust them? Doesn’t he think that they can work? Doesn’t he think they can deliver?”
He said President Hichilema should have understood his members of parliament by now.
“When you are going in government you must understand who your colleagues are. When you are adopting them to become members of parliament in various areas you should have known their capacities. Now you are wasting our time and the time of the nation and you get a minister who is in another field to act, it doesn’t work that way. [First president] Dr [Kenneth] Kaunda will drop you today and the same time he is going to replace you,” he said. “Levy Mwanawasa will drop you today and the same time he is going to replace you. President [Michael] Sata will do the same. President [Edgar] Lungu will do the same. And president [Frederick] Chiluba will do the same. What is so special that it has taken this long? For me, I remember when I was appointed foreign affairs minister, I was at Ministry of Lands then. The president removed the then foreign affairs minister who was Wylbur Simuusa and the same time he was removing him and going to agriculture, the president was removing me from lands and taking me to foreign affairs. It didn’t have to take time. We have done almost three years of the new dawn government, they don’t even know how to reshuffle ministers. Remove one from health take them to this ministry, take this one to that one. No! It is a straightjacket.”
Kalaba said Zambians must avoid costly experiments going into the future, in apparent reference to the current administration.
“This behaviour we have of saying we are voting for this one because he is the one who has stayed long in opposition, this is why we are buying a bag of mealie meal at K300. This is why you are buying fuel at K30 per litre,” said Kalaba. “Today we are talking about the dollar which we were promised you and I that 10:00 hours when I am elected in power 14:00 hours the dollar will come down. Where is the dollar today? The dollar today has gone to K27. By the time we are finishing this year if we will not be buying K100 to a dollar we will be very lucky because things are bad.”