Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Tell the people what we are doing, Sata orders ministers
By Mwala Kalaluka
Wed 18 Sep. 2013, 14:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Michael Sata says three years is enough time for a weak opposition to mobilise and sort out the PF because its ministers are not speaking about the party's achievements in its last two years in government.

And newly-appointed lands minister Harry Kalaba says the time is up for those that are bent on perpetuating illegalities in the country's land alienation processes.

Meanwhile, newly-appointed information minister Mwansa Kapeya says he is not sure when technocrats at the Ministry of Justice will finish polishing the Freedom of Information Bill before its presentation to Parliament.

During a swearing-in ceremony for Kalaba and Kapeya at State House yesterday, President Sata said the glaring failure by all his ministers and members of parliament to speak about what the PF had achieved over the last two years was killing Zambia.

"I like the Nyanja people because if the Nyanjas have problems, they say chabwera pa muzako monga chili pa iwe; chiwamira galu kuluma mbuzi. Mbuzi ilepela kuluma galu today it may be your friend facing a problem; tomorrow it will be you. It is all right for a dog to bite a goat but a goat can't bite a dog," President Sata said.

"The thing which is killing Zambia, you ministers you have government vehicles, government offices, government telephones but you don't speak. We have been two years in government. All of you ministers you are not telling the people what we have achieved. All of you without any exception."

President Sata said the PF members of parliament were very lucky because there was no opposition in the country.

"If there was opposition like when I was in opposition, we would easily sort you out," President Sata said.

"Go out, talk. Tell the people what we are doing because when you tell people what we are doing, what you think you are doing, everything, then people will also come out in the open. You have three years to go and within three years it is very simple to find an opposition."

And Kalaba said in an interview that he was bringing a new era to the Ministry of Lands, and his counsel to those claiming to be PF cadres and allocating land illegally was that their time was up.

"We will ensure that land is given out according to the prescription that has been outlined in the Circular 1 of 1985. So that is how we are going to move," Kalaba said.

"The time for giving out land by those who claim to be ward chairmen or chairman of some sort is over now because we will ensure that the rule of the law of the land is adhered to and adhered to strictly. As minister in charge, I will not sit idle and see that anarchy reigns. I will ensure that sanity is maintained in the way that land is allocated."

He said it would be folly to allow a situation where those who follow procedures are left to live in fear of those who do not.

"This is a country of laws, and there are sufficient laws in this country to take care of those that want to take the law into their own hands. So we will ensure that things are done accordingly...," Kalaba said.

He asked local authorities to be above board as they execute ther duties as agencies of the Ministry of Land in land alienation.

"The final authority to give out land lies with the Ministry of Lands," Kalaba said. "I don't want to be forced to revoke any council's agency in terms of land alienation if they will not follow the rule of the law. So I am urging them to be above board and that the issues of one councillor getting five plots or 10 plots are also long gone. This is a new era at play."

Meanwhile, Kapeya said he was delighted that President Sata had appointed him information minister.

"It is a clear testimony of the confidence that the President has in me, and I will ensure that we do the needful that Zambians have been waiting for, especially the Access to Information, which is indeed in the pipeline and then the issue of digital migration has to be accelerated and also the provincial studios. We are almost two years down the line, we need to start working on it," he said.

On the Freedom of Information Bill, Kapeya said the document was ready.
"What is being looked into by our colleagues in the Ministry of Justice is just polishing up the document before we present it to Parliament," he said.

Kapeya said he could not tell when this process would be completed.

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