ZAMBIANS deserve to know Edgar Lungu’s worthiness and assets after his seven years in power, says NDC interim president Josephs Akafumba.
In July, Akafumba while campaigning with UPND-Alliance chairperson Charles Milupi in Mongu said the Electoral Commission of Zambia was hiding Lungu’s declaration of assets and income because they knew that it can be a rude shock to Zambians.
He at that time said it was totally strange that the ECZ had departed from the usual culture of publicly announcing the assets and worthiness of presidential aspirants.
“The conduct of the ECZ raises suspicion and eyebrows because the declaration of assets is because Zambians need to know how much in terms of credits and assets is one aspiring to be Head of State. It does not only promote good governance but also transparency. If one is a pauper it must be so. In 2011, Michael Sata declared seven guns and people realised he was in love with guns. In all the subsequent general elections, assets for presidential candidates were made public,” he noted. “I suspect the realisation that Edgar Lungu was publicly known to be worth K23 million a few months after declaring that he was worth K1.8 million [in 2014 ahead of 2015 presidential elections], after 2016 it did not go well with President Lungu and the ECZ. This year it has become top secret. Why we don’t know but we can only suspect that his worthiness and assets can be a rude shock to Zambians.”
The ECZ however, claimed assets declarations can only be accessed or released by the Supreme Court.
But the Supreme Court told The Mast that, “…the provisions contained in articles 99 and 100 of the Constitution of Zambia as amended by the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016 and as read with section 30 of the electoral process Act No. 35 of 2016 make it clear that the list of validly nominated presidential candidates and declarations of assets and liabilities relating to such candidates are kept or maintained by the chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia who is the designated returning officer.”
In a follow-up interview, Akafumba said he still sticks to his July demands which have now been amplified by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) director Mary Chirwa’s revelations that a lot of money was looted.
“We all know how worth President Hakainde Hichilema is or looks to be. We have been to his house and farms,” he said. “And we also know what Edgar Lungu had before Michael Sata died and we have seen what he now is owning. The ECZ will just do us a diligent service by revealing what he declared. Zambians deserve to know Edgar Lungu’s worthiness and assets after his seven years in power. We don’t want to speculate. We need facts.”
Akafumba added that the ECZ should not be accomplices to crimes or looting of national resources.
He said what President Hichilema has been telling the nation in the past days, needs concerted efforts to help him realise a Zambia that is worth smiling for.
“We need Zambians to look happy once again and not look as if they are crying when in actual fact are smiling. And the ECZ will do Zambians good to tell them what Lungu and other PF members own so that they can make their own conclusion as to who actually stole,” said Akafumba.