The cordial association between MMD and PF members is unsettling some politicians, Vice-President Inonge Wina told Parliament yesterday. Responding to concerns raised by a PF member of parliament during the Vice-President’s question time, Inonge Wina said politicians were unsettled by the association between the ruling party and MMD, hence the insinuations that former president Rupiah Banda was in charge of government. Vice-President Inonge Wina further said President Lungu would travel with Banda, Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Vernon Mwaanga to Namibia for the inauguration of that country’s President-elect Dr Hage Geingob. “They did so (fought for freedom) in association with leaders in the region, and they even made friends in South Africa, Namibia, Malawi and many other countries.
The current Namibian President was in Zambia and made friends, hence the decision to invite Dr Kaunda, Banda and Mwaanga,” she said. And Vice-President Wina doubted the truth of reports that 69 Zambians were holding US$48.3 million in Swiss bank HSBC. She was responding to a question from Kwacha PF member of parliament Boniface Mutale, on what the government was doing to recover the money alleged to have been stashed in a Swiss bank account. “These are perhaps rumours online, but if it’s true, Bank of Zambia should take keen interest and review information and identify the legality of those funds and who the owners are,” she said. “Mr Speaker, stashing huge sums of money in off-shore accounts is a crime, which other countries even term as financial sabotage because such funds can be used to finance terrorism. I am sure that BoZ, with law enforcement agencies, are looking into this matter.” Meanwhile, Vice-President Inonge Wina said the PF did not authorise any of its members to support other presidential candidates in the January 20 election. Vice-President Inonge Wina was responding to a question by Monze Central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu, who wondered why the PF was harassing its Kasama Central and Chongwe members of parliament – Geoffrey Mwamba and Sylvia Masebo, respectively – for campaigning with UPND. He said his party noted with interest that MMD members of parliament that supported the ruling party during the last election were being praised by PF as being patriotic. Mwiimbu said it was strange that the PF had now decided to punish Mwamba and Masebo for exercising their right to choose a candidate of their choice. But Vice-President Wina, in response, said: “Prior to the January 20 election, political parties met to choose which presidential candidates they would support but the PF did not do so. And so, those members of the party who felt the need to support other candidates did so at their own peril. The issue of expulsion for certain members of PF is entirely the party’s own arrangement and there is no discrimination in taking such action.”