Friday, April 13, 2007

Truth catches up with liars - LAZ

Truth catches up with liars - LAZ
By George Chellah and Joan Chirwa
Friday April 13, 2007 [04:00]

The truth always catches up with liars, Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president William Mweemba said yesterday. And MMD spokesperson Benny Tetamashimba said President Mwanawasa's decision to dismiss Vernon Mwaanga as information minister was good for the Zambian people. Meanwhile, UPND president Hakainde Hichilema said Zambians must begin to look deep into the case involving the US $7 million debt owed to DRC's Katanga Province governor Moses Katumbi.

Commenting on Mwaanga's dismissal, Mweemba commended The Post for a job well done over the issue.

"All we can do is commend The Post on this... for the job well done. At the end of the day whether you are in power or not once you tell a lie the truth will always catch up with you. So well done to The Post," he said.

Mweemba also called for responsibility among government ministers.
"People trusted to run the affairs of this nation must tell the truth. The issue of Mr. Katumbi and the alleged debt of Mr. Katumbi are issues that have been in the public for a long time," Mweemba said. "When President Mwanawasa was just elected, he went to Parliament and one of the issues he raised in Parliament to lift Chiluba's immunity was that of Mr. Katumbi.

The President said Mr. Katumbi was involved in shoddy deals, the Vice-President also confirmed it and that the Task Force are looking for Mr. Katumbi. So it's surprising to hear a government minister saying that government has nothing against Katumbi. It confuses the Zambian people."

And during Hot FM Radio's Hot Seat programme yesterday, Tetamashimba said President Mwanawasa's decision to fire Mwaanga was good for the Zambian people.
"A special envoy is appointed by the President and he enjoys certain status because he carries a very important message from one president to the other. And even when the special envoy is going to the other President, everything is in motion. That special envoy does not stay in that country asking for an appointment.

He goes there and everything is timed so he has...if a special envoy was sent to Zambia all the appointments which are at State House will be cancelled for that special envoy to have preference," Tetamashimba said. "A special envoy is a very senior person, I can say he is senior than a minister going to another place. So that what he (Mwaanga) was, he was not going on behalf of the party. He was going on behalf of the government and President Mwanawasa who sent him. And he went there, President Mwanawasa himself has found it fit that the root that he took...what he said in DRC is not what was agreed between himself and the special envoy.

"So maybe what we are speculating is the envoy should have gone to DRC, talked to President Kabila, President Kabila gives him a message and he brings it back to Zambia and not going from Kinshasa going to another and so on. We do not know the facts but the President has made a decision as President of this country he was elected to make decisions and for us he has made the decision, which is good for the Zambian people and I don't want to make any more comments on VJ."

And Hichilema said Zambian must begin to look deep into the case involving the US $7 million debt owed to Katumbi. He said the issue should be looked at in a much deeper sense than just focusing on one individual Mwaanga.

"Every Zambian must begin to look at issue of debt that MMD accumulated with Katumbi carefully," Hichilema said. "It is an MMD debt, and why should Zambians pay that debt?"

Hichilema said there was corruption surrounding the MMD's US $7 million debt with Katumbi. He accused the ruling MMD of being very uncomfortable each time the matter regarding the maize supplied by Katumbi in 2001 came up.

"We need to get a clear position over the matter and the people who benefited from that maize deal need to be known," Hichilema said.

On Wednesday, President Mwanawasa fired Mwaanga and described his handling of the DRC assignment as extremely irresponsible.

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