FORMER Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development, Lameck Chibombamilimo, has said that President Banda’s decision to fire him was based on misinformation.
Speaking at a press briefing at Crystal Gardens and Restaurant in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Chibombamilimo said he was a loyal member of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) and that he had sacrificed a lot, including personal resources, for the ruling party.
Mr Chibombamilimo said that he has never plotted against the government with former First Lady, Maureen Mwanawasa.
He said he has spoken with Mrs Mwanawasa on phone three times after President Mwanawasa’s death, because he has a moral obligation to comfort those that were in mourning.
Mr Chibombamilimo said that Mrs Mwanawasa, whom he said was now being treated like a leper, needed the friendship of the people that she associated with while the late President Mwanawasa was in office.
He charged that when Dr Mwanawasa was alive, everyone wanted to be a darling of Mrs Mwanawasa for personal benefit.
Mr Chibombamilimo said it was sad that it was becoming a tradition for a person who leaves the office of presidency to be isolated.
Mr Chibombamilimo, who is Member of Parliament for Mpulungu, said he campaigned for President Banda in last year’s Presidential election at a time when people in the area (Mpulungu) aligned themselves more to the opposition.
He said during one of his campaign expeditions, his personal speed boat developed a fault on Lake Tanganyika and that he spent about K3 million to get it towed to shore.
“During this very difficult time of our campaigns, there were people that lied to Mr Banda that I was campaigning for the opposition,” Mr Chibombamilimo said.
He said when he returned from the campaign tours, his five children had been sent away from Lake Road School in Lusaka because he had not paid their school fees. The children only went back to school when he took some time off to look for money.
He said he was saddened by the manner in which President Banda announced his dismissal when he addressed MMD cadres at State House.
Mr Chibombamilimo said he was just waiting for his formal expulsion by the MMD National Executive Committee (NEC) because no one could counter the President’s wish.
He said he would defend the Mpulungu parliamentary seat on a party ticket to be advised by his constituents.
Mr Chibombamilimo said that he would also unveil to the people of Mpulungu the truth that they did not know.
President Banda fired Mr Chibombamilimo together with Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Jonas Shakafuswa, on Thursday for allegedly failing to show allegiance to their party and government.
Mr Chibombamilimo also denied any collaboration with The Post newspaper. He said that the newspaper has sometimes refused to publish some of his statements.
He said The Post allegedly refused to give him the right of reply when he wanted to defend himself against allegations by MMD Northern Provincial vice secretary, Mr Jairus Simunyola, that he was a source of conflicts in the area.
He said he was also denied space in the newspaper recently when he asked the nation and MMD to rally behind President Banda’s government.