Saturday, May 28, 2011

Who is Rupiah serving? asks Kabimba

Who is Rupiah serving? asks Kabimba
By Patson Chilemba
Sat 28 May 2011, 04:01 CAT

THOSE saying Rupiah Banda is benefiting from the US$98 million dollars NAPSA deal are justified, says Wynter Kabimba. Commenting on Pres-ident Banda’s justification of the deal, Lusaka lawyer Kabimba, who is also PF secretary general and spokesperson, wondered why President Banda was insistent on describing the deal as a good project.

He said the fact that President Banda was patronising the NAPSA and Zambia National Building Society (ZNBS) directors that they should focus on pushing the deal despite criticism from the public, meant that he realised that the criticism was justified.

Kabimba said the role of social security schemes in the past was to give loans to local authorities in order to build houses, such as the ones seen in Libala and Chilenje.

He said that was the role of the security schemes because the money belonged to the workers, so it went back to them by way of social development in form of low-cost housing.

Kabimba said the ordinary people today could not afford to purchase the houses from National Housing Authority because the cost usually ranged between K500 million to K1 billion.

He said any responsible government would have been urging NAPSA and other pension schemes to be investing in low-cost houses so that the people could have decent homes.

“To go and try to promote that project between NAPSA, ZNBS against the general welfare of the ordinary person is not only irresponsible by any government, but it’s working against the interests of the ordinary persons,” Kabimba said.

“We in PF would not support such projects because... you tell me how refurbishing of Zambia National Building Society improves the lives of people in Matero. How does it deliver water to the people in Chawama?”

Kabimba said US$98 million would go a long way towards improving the welfare of people in squalid settlement such as Kanyama which had no drainage system since the MMD came into office, and floods were the order of the day every rainy season.

He said President Banda found it wise to spend billions on a building when people could not afford health services, saying he wondered how many people from Matero would ever enter the ZNBS building.

“So the question is who is Mr Rupiah Banda serving? Certainly it can’t be the interest of the ordinary person…and Mr Rupiah Banda says that this is a good project, good for who? It’s a good project for himself, his government and the elite, and we cannot support that as PF,” Kabimba said.

“When you look at that principle, that’s why people are saying that there must be something for him. Otherwise, how does he just work against the interests of the people? Those reasoning like that would not be wrong.”

Kabimba said it was out-right strange that it had to take the head of state to go and officiate at the NAPSA-ZNBS ceremony.

He said the President even went out of his way to declare the deal, which he said had been criticised not only by The Post but the general citizenry.

“Without The Post in this country, these guys would have run the coffers of this country, bankrupt. Zambia would be bankrupt without The Post.

These guys are bitter not that there is something wrong that The Post has done but because it’s protecting the interests of the citizens. They have their dirty hands in the national till and when The Post screams, they withdraw their dirty hands from there,” said Kabimba.

During the launch of the Zambia National Building Society House redevelopment and Central Arcade development on Thursday, President Banda justified the deal, saying he was happy that the pension authority had not been detracted by “the best newspaper, The Post”.

The deal has attracted questions from several members of the public over the manner the transaction was handled. Sources disclosed that State House has been instrumental in ensuring the deal go through.

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