Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rupiah is dismantling nation because of corrupt deals – Sata

Rupiah is dismantling nation because of corrupt deals – Sata
By Patson Chilemba
Wed 14 July 2010, 09:20 CAT

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) president Michael Sata has charged that President Rupiah Banda is dismantling the nation because of his corrupt deals at State House. And Ng'andu Magande observed that Zambians were demanding the removal of MMD from office because President Banda’s government had refused to inspire confidence in the people.

Commenting on Kafulafuta MMD parliamentarian George Mpombo’s questioning of the government’s decision to award Philips a 25 million euro contract to cover the upgrade and maintenance of equipment in 71 government hospitals nationwide, Sata said the motive behind the planned removal of the abuse of office clause from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act was not clear. Sata said President Banda should explain to the nation his involvement in the Philips deal.

“Because of their deals, now they want to say ‘Sata apologise’. What is there to apologise when they steal left, right and centre?” Sata asked. “That is why there are people sneaking in and when they leave, we hear all sorts of contracts.”

Sata said tender procedures were no longer in existence in President Banda’s government.

“This is all Rupiah Banda’s way of doing things. He should tell us whether the Tender Board Zambia Public Procurement Authority should continue or should be done away with because he doesn’t seem to respect the Tender Board,” Sata said.

He said just like there was no NAMBOARD to talk about when President Banda left the organisation, there would be no Zambia worth talking about once he leaves State House.

“He is just following the footsteps of the dribbler,” Sata said. “The private visits at State House, that is the product of what you are getting. That is why you now find concessions.”

Sata also charged that Vice-President George Kunda was a very big disgrace to the nation.

He said people thought Vice-President Kunda was a man of integrity when he served under late president Levy Mwanawasa but he had proved them otherwise.

Sata said Vice-President Kunda used taxpayers’ money to secure the London judgment against former president Frederick Chiluba but he was now working against it.

“He has now been found to be very useless. Even if I kill a fly, I can’t hire George Kunda to defend me,” said Sata.

And Magande said President Banda was not governing the country properly.
He said the actions of those in government were affecting public trust.

“That obviously causes loss of trust and that is why you are hearing all those stories of people saying ‘MMD and its government kuya bebele the MMD must go’. We are not giving them the confidence that what we are doing as MMD and the government is in their interest,” Magande said.

“We think that before even they Zambians benefit, somebody puts himself as a first beneficiary on a programme.”

Magande said President Banda should allow people to open up the books on how he governed the country once he is out of power.

He said those in public office should realise that the public reposed confidence in them, and they should therefore govern with integrity.

Magande said the government should explain clearly who the main actors were in the Philips deal.

“Why can’t they also explain and say ‘this is how Philips has come,’” he wondered.

“You must be proud that you want to do something for your people.”

Magande said the money on the Philips deal was from the Zambian taxpayers hence the government should respond to the questions raised by the people.

“That is the problem that we are running into as MMD and as a government of MMD. Disclosure is becoming difficult. When even a member of parliament hears a story and he can’t go to hold a mass rally to talk about it, he goes to Parliament and puts a question across, and then the Vice-President says ‘this is against the law’,” said Magande.

“They are not running a secret organisation. Why start threatening him? What are they hiding?”

Commenting on the signing of the five-year contract between Philips and the Ministry of Health, Mpombo challenged the government to explain the procurement procedures used in awarding Philips the contract.

“It has got strong connection to State House. So we would want to know the procurement system, was it followed? Was it single-sourcing?” asked Mpombo.

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