Saturday, March 21, 2009

It’s malicious for anyone to accuse Magande of corruption – Kazabu

It’s malicious for anyone to accuse Magande of corruption – Kazabu
Written by Mutuna Chanda in Kitwe
Saturday, March 21, 2009 8:22:43 AM

FORMER Kitwe mayor Luxon Kazabu has said it is extremely malicious for anyone to accuse former finance minister Ng'andu Magande of corruption going by the letter he wrote to transport minister Dora Siliya.

Commenting on the letter that Magande wrote to Siliya, which was recently released by Patriotic Front (PF) leader Michael Sata and published by The Post, Kazabu described as unfair attempts to malign the former finance minister.

"Unless you say that those who taught us the English language did not do a good job," Kazabu said. "In that letter, he was telling his fellow minister that there is this other option that you can explore as regards Zambian Airways."

He said it was unbelievable that the government sought to protect foreign investment but participated in sinking local investment.

"It's incredible that if you check carefully, foreigners have had massive support from the government," Kazabu said. "The most recent case is the government helping the mines; I mean let's face it, these investors in the [copper] mines are foreigners. We have done away with windfall taxes. It is unbelievable that in the wisdom of government, they do away with windfall taxes to help the mines get through the economic meltdown but you can't help your own local company get through economic difficulty. We are the same people who are on record of wanting to empower Zambians because if we empower Zambians and Zambian companies, they are the only ones who are going to develop Zambia."

He said going by the letter published in The Post, no one - including Magande - suggested forgiving or cancelling Zambian Airways' debt.

"No one is saying Zambian Airways should get away with the debt; it's just a grace period that Peter Magande was proposing and surely that can't amount to any corrupt act," he said.

Kazabu defended Magande's standing.

"I feel very bad myself because Peter Magande is one of the very few Zambians who stand out in terms of integrity and many people including the international community know this," he said. "Magande was simply trying to pull up those who are down, but then we pull down one who is trying to pull up those who are down? Now who will pull up those who are down? No one will. Any well-meaning Zambian who read that letter will know that there was no corruption involved."

He further criticised chief government spokesman Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha's attempts to tarnish Magande's image.

"It is unbelievable that a chief government spokesman could speak the way he did," said Kazabu. "Let's be fair in judging each other. If Shikapwasha was in Magande's shoes, how would he feel if he were judged like that?"

The government has recently engaged in an incessant attempt to malign Magande following President Rupiah Banda's announcement to a group of MMD cadres that he had a letter the former finance minister wrote where he suggested forgiving Zambian Airways of its debt.

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At 4:57 PM , Blogger Leonard said...

It's great issue to talk about corruption in many African countries.

But next problem is looming. ( not only in Zambia ) Ability to organize the country where people can feel somebody takes care and makes good job for community.

The African leaders can not play so well as soccer stars:)



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