Friday, August 05, 2011

Masebo accuses Thandiwe of abusing public resources

Masebo accuses Thandiwe of abusing public resources
By Chibaula Silwamba
Fri 05 Aug. 2011, 14:00 CAT

SYLVIA Masebo has asked the Electoral Commission of Zambia to intervene in first lady Thandiwe Banda’s abuse of public resources, which she is using to campaign for the MMD and President Rupiah Banda. In an interview yesterday, Masebo said Thandiwe had been campaigning in Chongwe using public resources.

“I have a complaint to the ECZ, especially justice Irene Mambilima. I want to know the role of the first lady in the elections considering that the Constitution only allows the President to continue in office as a caretaker, after the dissolution of Cabinet and Parliament” said Masebo, the immediate past member of parliament for Chongwe in Lusaka Province.

“In my constituency, the first lady has been going round using state resources, transport and fuel, masquerading that she is going to officiate at some function and in the process she is campaigning for her husband and giving MMD campaign materials. This is raising a lot of concerns among the people.”

Masebo said Chongwe residents were displeased with Thandiwe’s conduct.

“On Wednesday she was at Verino where, according to the workers there who called me, she distributed money and 200 chitenje material for her husband. From there she went to Kanakantapa at the farm of a Mr Njobvu where lead farmers in the constituency were invited and they were told it was an agricultural occasion but when the farmers got there, they were surprised that all the speeches were political and nothing to do with agricultural activities for which they were invited,” Masebo said.

“She was campaigning for her husband and distributed the campaign materials and people were shocked.”

Masebo said the people that attended belonged to various political parties. She said Thandiwe was expected to address other meetings in Chongwe yesterday.

“It’s a very disturbing activity where a first lady can continue as if she is in office and campaign for her husband. We have no problem, she can campaign for her husband but it’s not fair for her to use GRZ vehicles because there isn’t even an office for the first lady in the Zambian Constitution,” Masebo said.

“Worse now that Parliament has been dissolved, ministers are not working and members of parliament are out of office, so what about the first lady? What office is she using?”

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