Democratic Party (DP) President Harry Kalaba has said things have not been moving well under the New Dawn government because President Hakainde Hichilema lacks the experience to run government business.
“Things have not been moving well because it is a one-man show and it is job training for him (President Hakainde Hichilema). This is when he is learning a lot of things. It is only true and I have said this without malice. It is the first time he is working in government. He might have done some privatisation as a consultant in the 1990s but being part of the executive this is the first time the president is doing it. So yes it is a job on training and there is no malice in that. I have never been a president as well but I have a lot of governance knowledge because you need to know how the government operates even as you assume the office of the president then you are going to know where to start from,” Mr Kalaba said.
He continued: ”So when people say it is a job on training it is not because the president is going in the office of president for the first time he is going in government for the first time. I said earlier, that the president is only getting to understand what he was saying before he got elected and now are two different things because he didn’t understand that there was a yellow book which tells you that there is a budget. He didn’t understand that now he is beginning to understand that. Is there any malice in that? The president must learn to understand that the cabinet office, especially the secretary to the cabinet, is the person that should be close to him because he is the one that will tell him how the government operates, how it should operate but typical of the president it’s a know it all attitude.”
“Yesterday (Monday) he said he is coming here. He is coming on Hot FM and we hope you will take good care of that gesture which the president made. These are some of the issues which you should ask him; to say you said all these promises that you did. Why didn’t you fulfil them?” Mr Kalaba added.
Meanwhile, Mr Kalaba has observed Zambia is losing huge sums of money from the mines over the alleged failure to religiously monitor the quantity and type of minerals mining firms were exporting.
Mr Kalaba said currently there is no system in government that thoroughly counter-checks the quantity and type of minerals mining firms were exporting.
There is a wide belief that mining firms have been under-declaring their exports or profits made from mining in the country.
Other reports suggest that mining firms especially in the North-Western Province have been mining and exporting gold, diamonds and cobalt in the name of mining copper.
Featuring on a Hot FM radio show, Mr Kalaba said there is a need to set up a body that would strictly monitor the activities of mining companies in a bid to improve Zambia’s benefits from its mineral resources.
“How would Harry Kabala have done it? For me, I would have done it very differently. I would have insisted on creating a body that was going to deal with the mines because right now the amount of money we are losing as a country as a result of that financial seepage in the mines is huge. It is huge. I would have said why is it that KCM (Konkola Copper Mines) or why is it that Mopani, Lumwana, and Kansanshi will export our minerals without any government official counterchecking? They will just give us reports that this is what we have exported. Ninshi twabasuminishisha to be doing that? Just why? Cibeleshi that is not right. Why have we allowed such kind of behaviour? Why?” Mr. Kalaba said.
“For me I would say first of all there will be nothing like giving you tax holidays now we want to see the exact exports that you are doing. That is why a body called MEMACO ilya iyaliko mu UNIP is very important because there was no ore that was being exported without them certifying that this is the exact quantum, this is the exact ore we are exporting because today they can tell you we are exporting copper when they are exporting cobalt. They can tell you they are exporting cobalt when they are exporting emerald. They can tell you they are exporting manganese when they are exporting gold or diamond. We have let it loose and yet we are going to borrow money from the IMF. We are going to borrow those monies when we can just put our foot down,” Mr. Kalaba said.