New information minister has embarrassed Lungu-HH
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu must be ashamed that his information minister whom he praised so much on her appointment can’t articulate government policy on press freedom, says UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.
Recently appointed chief government spokesperson Kampamba Mulenga last Thursday failed to respond to questions from journalists on press freedom, saying she will consult her predecessor Chishimba Kambwili on the issue.
Her failure to tackle the questions on press freedom during her maiden speech following increased harassment of independent news media workers left the journalists disappointed.
Mulenga, who read her speech with ease and eloquence, later invited questions but failed to give answers.
In response to almost all the questions invited, Mulenga kept saying she was a new minister and would issue a comprehensive statement after consulting Kambwili, who was dismissed a week ago by President Edgar Lungu.
Following Mulenga’s failure to answer press freedom concerns, netizens took to social media to question how the 40-year-old Kalulushi member of parliament earned her job.
“Wait a minute,” Osward Chongo posted on Facebook, “is this not the same MP whom President Chagwa said would be equal to the task? Now I wonder what task the President was referring to because clearly, this woman is empty. She sounded like she doesn’t even read news.”
Peter Mumba wrote, “Dununa Reverse in progress.”
Muwapa Chitengi commented, “Is it ethical for a minister to consult a person who is being probed? I thought even in politics they have ethics. No wonder appointments are being done on wako ni wako. We have many qualified Zambians who can handle this sensitive office but cadres will continue shocking us. Zambia is not a farm of 10 hectares. Eeeh, wonders will never end, we are watching.”
Nomanizo King Coolcat: “I quote former lady of the night, kikiki; Zambia simunzako.”
Henry Ndakaila: “Where really did they get this one? She looks like a bar lady. Now she is in a wrong place.”
Phillip Boyce: “So that you can also build some estates ka?”
Davies Kaunda: “No experience, no vision. Ifyakutolafye like someone on top.”
Gift Lulu Siyanga: “The day you will consult Kambwili is the day you will be fired.”
And Hichilema said the appointing authority in an illegitimate government did not care about appointing quality ministers.
“It’s like stolen money. Since you didn’t work for it, you didn’t sweat to have it, you can blow it on casual things. You can’t put your priorities straight because you are in a hurry to blow it all up,” Hichilema said.
“We have said it before and we will continue to say until our election petition is heard; this government is illegitimate. Therefore, its leadership does not care about the people of Zambia. They don’t feel the pain of the people’s suffering because they rigged the elections. They stole our votes, never sweated for the votes. All they did during the campaign was dance Dununa Reverse. That is why they are filling Cabinet with dull people.”
He said the information minister’s failure to answer press freedom questions was embarrassing to President Lungu who appointed her.
“That’s embarrassing to Lungu himself; because remember what he said when people criticised his choice of ministers? He said ‘although people are saying she is not mature, I know that she will be equal to the task’. So people have the right to be angry. How can the President have more dull ministers in his Cabinet like this? Shame on him,” Hichilema said.
He said it was unfortunate that a critical ministry like Information and Broadcasting was consistently being left in the hands of incompetent people.
“The quality of PF ministers is very worrying. It’s about thuggery. It seems one has to be very brutal or very popular as a cadre to be appointed. But what we are saying as citizens of this country is this: free the private media. You cannot govern without accountability. What kind of government is this?” wondered Hichilema.