EDITH Nawakwi has been challenged to explain the source of the K500 000 she is using in to fund the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) agriculture grant project.
FDD founder member Thomas Kaluba said Ms Nawakwi was allegeldly using funds to prop up her political manuevours through an obscure politically-inspired agriculture grants scheme because the party executive has never met to approve the project.
Thomas Kaluba, a founder and executive member of the FDD, has called for investigations into the source of the money Ms Nawakwi was flaunting through the FDD agriculture start-up grants, a project he said was not known to the party executive.
FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza declined to comment on the matter, stating that he would only discuss the subject if he was told the name of the source of the information.
Mr Mwanza said he was being careful to comment on the matter because the author could have concocted the story and could have been soliciting for his comment to legitimatize the story.
But Mr Kaluba said Ms Nawakwi has not even briefed her vice-president Chifumu Banda over the project and that the Chasefu FDD member of Parliament was also shocked when he heard that the party had launched an agriculture grant scheme.
Mr Mwanza however said Mr Banda, who is the deputy chairman of committees in the National Assembly, did not have a spokesperson and should therefore complain on his own if he was not happy with Ms Nawakwi’s agriculture grants project.
Mr Kaluba said the FDD agriculture grants project was not supported by the party
constitution and was therefore illegal for which Ms Nawakwi would be held accountable after leaving office.
He said Ms Nawakwi could have been using the grants to woo members so that they could vote for her at the convention for which she was determined to participate despite the FDD constitution barring her.
“As senior members of the FDD, we were shocked to learn that the party was launching what it called the FDD agriculture start-up grants project because as the executive, we have never met to discuss and approve such a project.
‘‘As I am talking, our vice-president Chifumu Banda does not know anything about this project because he was equally not briefed by Ms Nawakwi and no one knows the source of the money. The programme she launched at that press conference is not supported by our constitution and it is therefore illegal,” Mr Kaluba said.
Mr Kaluba stated that Ms Nawakwi had never called for an executive meeting for a long time to discuss party matters and that the FDD project was only known between herself and her spokesperson Antonio Mwanza.
Ms Nawakwi was among Cabinet ministers and MMD national executive committee members in 2001 who rejected the third term bid by former president Frederick Chiluba.
Ms Nawakwi at the time was one of the first 10 Cabinet ministers and NEC members who signed a petition against the third term and FDD supporters are surprised that the FDD leader was now promoting the same undemocratic tendencies she had opposed just a few years ago.
Mr Kaluba said Ms Nawakwi has served her 10-year term as FDD president and now that she had participated in more than two presidential elections and lost, she was constitutionally barred to participate in any future general elections, let alone contest the FDD presidency.
‘‘Today, the same Nawakwi wants to run for a third term which she was against just a few years ago…and this is the problem we have with Zambian politicians; they easily forget their own words,” Mr Kaluba said.