FIRST Lady, Esther Lung, talks to nine years old Esther Phiri after she presented a bouquet of flowers to President Edgar Lungu on arrival at Mfuwe International airport on Wednesday. Mr. Lungu was in Mambwe for a campaign meeting.
File:FIRST Lady, Esther Lung, talks to nine years old Esther Phiri after she presented a bouquet of flowers to President Edgar Lungu on arrival at Mfuwe International airport on Wednesday. Mr. Lungu was in Mambwe for a campaign meeting.

The FDD says the allocation of 1.5million Kwacha in the National Budget to a nonexistent “Office of the First Lady ” is not only fraudulent but institutionalized theft of public resources.

Antonio Mwanza the FDD spokesman said the Office of the First Lady is an imaginary office which does not legally exist.

He said allocating public funds to an office which does not exist is theft of the highest order.

He explained that Article 265 of the Republican Constitution clearly stipulates that only public offices, State organs and State institutions are entitled to state funding.

“The decision by the PF Government to allocate 1.5 million kwacha in the national budget to the “office of first lady” is fraudulent and institutionalised theft of public resources. The so called “office of the first lady” is an imaginary office which does not legally exist and it is theft of the highest order to allocate public funds to an office which is not only illegal but actually does not exist.

“Article 265 of the Republican Constitution clearly stipulates that only public offices, state organs and state institutions are entitled to state funding.

That money can neither be accounted for nor audited

Any other entity that does not fall in this category is not entitled to receive state funds. A public office means an office whose emoluments and expenses are a charge on the Consolidated Fund or other prescribed public fund and includes a State Office, Constitutional Office, and an office in the public service, including that of the member of the commission. And clearly the “office of the first lady” does not fall under any of the aforementioned categories. In short the office of the first lady is illegal and does not deserve to be funded by taxpayers.”

He added that there are no financial regulations that guides how that 1.5 million should be utilised.

“In any case there are no financial regulations that guides how that 1.5 million should be utilised. That money can neither be accounted for nor audited. The First Lady has the mono authority to spend the money in any way she wants so how will the public benefit from such a fraudulent allocation?

“You cannot be dispensing public money like Masuku or Malubeni. There should be order and clear financial guidelines to ensure accountability and prudence. Parliament has a solemn duty to ensure prudence, transparency and accountability in the manner public resources are allocated and managed,” he said.

Parliament last week approved the allocation of 1.5million Kwacha to the office of the First Lady. The trend of allocating resources to the “Office of First Lady” started under late President Micheal Sata who instructed then Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda to allocate funds to his wife Dr Christine Kaseba.

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55 COMMENTS

  1. Yes it is. The office of First Lady doesn’t legally exist in the Zambian Constitution. This must be fought.

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    • Looks like Edgar lungu has two vice presidents Bo inonge and bana Dalitso,,,, really laughable! When the country is supposed to cut down on expenditure but instead creates a ‘vice president Office’ for shopping for bana Dalitso,,,,,, sick crazy

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    • Problem here is not Edward or Esther but all of us as a collective. Instead of talking why not go to the courts to stop it. Of course our courts are useless but if we give them a sustained push they will start fearing us. South Koreans are just throwing out their president for theft.

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    • Hello Zambians. You great people I ask you to vote NEZ as best Blogger. The nominations are opened. Please exercise your right to vote by voting me the most honest man here as blogger of the year. I trust you will make one right decision this year. You already made an error by voting in PF, so please undo your wrong by voting NEZ and nominating me as best blogger. I thank you in advance…. aluta

      NEZ
      Chief Strategist of the UPND

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    • FDD does not comprehend the functions of first lady.

      How does helping the vulnerable people become theft.

      FDD must realise that the office of first lady is allocated a salary.

      By that itself it means that she has to work because sitting idle at statehouse would imply being paid for nothing.

      Therefore, not allocating funds to the office of first lady is what would imply stealing, as she will be paid anyway.

      But FDD is in a dilemma because if Nawakwi became president the office of first lady would become inapplicable.

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    • It wood be nice to hear Dr. Kaseba’s view on all this. I would also like to know Wynter Kabimba’s view. By the way what happened to Rainbow Party?

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  2. This is very true. I wonder whose interests the MPs represent. Instead of siding with the people who voted for them, most of them very poor people, they are busy allocating scarce resources to a non-existent office. For what purpose will the money be used? If it is charity work, there are designated ministries responsible for this. We are spending so much money on ministries and yet we can still go ahead and allow the duplication of effort and activities and give money to a non constitutional office. This clearly shows that MPs from the ruling party lack wisdom. They are in parliament not to represent the people but to ensure that they move Edgar’s agenda. What a shame!!!

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  3. Thieves with no iota of shame. Mphuno monga ma trumpets. Stop stealing from the poor you shameless thieves. one day you will definitely be called to account for your stupidity.

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  4. Take members of Parley to court for abrogating the constitution. This is THEFT of the highest order. The way to go is to legalise the office ( if at all we need it) and thereafter allocation can be made. As it is this is stealing and Felix Mutati should know that the austerity measures he is talking about is all hogwash. Zambians let us for once correct things and do right things. Antonio take a step by taking these guys to court and we shall support you.

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  5. panga family party is a party which is full of criminals.That can be used to pay doctors and teachers who haven’t been paid their salaries todate…bakawalala

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  6. Jay Jay, UPND MPs were not in Parliament to object to this, because they had to attend to their constituent bosses HH and GBM. While their real bosses the people of Nagoe, Livingstone, Mwinilunga and Solwezi north paid for their salaries, land cruisers and the First Ladies Ray band sun glasses.

    Viva president Nawakwi the convention warrior.

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    • Where has Jay Jay posted? Even in your day dreams you are debating with ficticious shadows…
      Wake up!!

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    • UPND MPS have difficulties lowering themselves to the PF levels of debating,PF just shouts hear hear in parliament.Those with memory will remember a statement by former speaker mwanamwamba who said, I quote,Since nos of PF members increased in parliament debate levels declined,end of quote.PF have passed some of the most ridiculous pieces of legistration,look at the way they want to change the constitution they were dancing about just4months ago,can anything good come out of these empty tins.

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    • Had you used deductive reasoning, you would have seen, that I was starting a conversation with you on the non effectiveness of UPND, MMD, FDD and independent MPs. Read my comment again. We put opposition in parliament for this very reason. I am very much in the lead to call on all our useless MPs to stand and guard Zambia. Whether you guys agree or not.

      Viva President Nawakwi who is having a convention

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  7. Jay Jay, UPND MPs were not in Parliament to object to this, because they had to attend to their constituent bosses HH and GBM. While their real bosses the people of Nagoe, Livingstone, Mwinilunga and Solwezi north paid for their salaries, land cruisers and the First Ladies Ray band sun glasses.
    Independent MPs, UPND, FDD and independents are lettings us all down.

    Viva president Nawakwi the convention warrior.

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  8. First ladies have been using public resources to carry out their charity activities. When Pf won in 2011, they publically suggested that a k1.5m be allocated to the first lady activities instead of the private arrangements previously. This to me is a honest way of using public funds unlike keeping it as a secret. Do we know how much public funds were used by first ladies previously? Which is better, spending privately or letting people know how much is being spent? Where were fdd wen this issue was introduced in 2011? Y do our opposition like opposing everything that government does?

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    • Munene,…there is no logic in what you’re saying. A thief is a thief whether he steals secretly without the owner knowing he’s doing it, or he comes in to rob the owner at gun point. Just because a bank robber announces that he’s about to rob the bank doesn’t justify his actions. This allocation is clearly daylight robbery. It shows that the MPs who voted for this either don’t understand how priorities work, or they just don’t care. Zambia has more urgent and dire needs that this money can be used on, instead of handing it over to the first lady for highly questionable purposes. One wonders what the opposition MPs are doing in parliament, because they should have never allowed this to happen if they were doing their jobs. If the first lady wants to be doing some charitable…

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    • (continued)… services, she has to raise funds herself from donor groups, and not use taxpayer’s money to do so. And as mentioned in the article, there will be absolutely no accountability for this money — which means the money will be spent as the first lady sees fit. And that opens the door to the misuse of funds. Disgusting.

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  9. All the budget expenditure items will be approved because of the numbers of Pf mps who just vote in favour .

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  10. Zambians are a docile people…anywhere else someone would have challenged the legality of luxury pocket money. If its legal then it should be opened to checks by the AG’s office…surely how can we be giving this Chamwama woman petty cash when it can be used to pay 5 doctors every year. Which is more important a Doctor in a clinic in Nyimba or Ester distributing sweets and mealiemeal to villagers.
    All we know she may be buying hideous wigs for her head.

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    • @ 12.1 MuNgoni

      Understanding that the English word “docile” does not add to the stature of what it means to be “compliant”, “obedient”, “pliant”, “dutiful”, “submissive”, “unassertive’, “cooperative”, “amenable”, “accommodating”,”malleable”, etc., don’t you suppose that Jay Jay is just being the gentleman he has always been here? Hard he wanted, he could have used a sterner word. The English language is replete with them; the choice is wide.

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    • @12.2 Meimatungu

      By throwing such a soft punch in kid gloves, Jay Jay must be shadow boxing. It’s how we all are as Zambians.

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    • @12.1 MuNgoni

      Add to “docile” its additional equivalents: “gentle”, “quiet”, “teachable”, and “tame”, it sounds more like a compliment, not a castigation. Job well done Jay Jay. You are a saint.

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  11. The office of the firstlady is un illegal office it does not exist and therefore no allocation should be made especially from the nation treasurery this is purely theft ba pumaneni fwantaneni (pf) nibakabwalala bapompwe ba doctor 187 tabafula 3months you don’t even care people are suffering in this country but they are busy approving the allocation of 1.5m to a fake and useless office pf you wil pay for this mwayasana bamambala

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  12. It is just that here in Zambia we are too docile. If it was in other countries there would be protests and demonstrations over this nonsense. It’s better they do not even publicly announce that they have allocated so much to that UNCONSTITUTIONAL office. That position is ceremonial. By allocating those funds to that office they have illegally made it constitutional. Members pf Parliament should have strongly rejected this nonsense. MPs from the ruling party are failing us. I know they are the ones who supported it.Why can’t she just stay the way mama Betty Kaunda stayed? “The First lady has donated this and this” as if that money is coming from her personal account! Don’t deceive people.

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  13. Kwena ba UPND you are really donkeys. Your MPs have disobeyed their party’s instruction to boycott all state functions and events but they are busy attending parliament and approving bills and obtaining salaries, loans and allowances which is illegal by HHs standards. And UPNDonkeys on LT are quiet but quick to open their foul smelling mouths on the office if first lady. What kind of people are you?

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  14. I am not worried about what you are all writing about. I don’t have ZESCO power in Riverside Kitwe from 9 hrs this morning and it is 17hrs now and I am calling this hopeless insititution and they say you have extended load shedding. What load of rubbish is this. This company should go, it must be sold to somebody serious

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  15. Doctors haven’t been paid for six months and yet this already wealthy lady is given even more free money to spend on herself. When are people in Zambia going to wake up? Armed with advanced qualifications and highly sought after worldwide I have to be mentally disturbed to continue working for a govt as cruel as the PF for nothing! I hope these Doctors will wake up fast and do something about their personal lives. No patriotism would make me stick around for six months without pay while non-productive people like the first lady are paid obscene amounts for doing nothing!

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  16. FDD has only one noisemaker playing to the gallery…Let him check how public resources were plundered under Former First Lady Dr Maureen Mwanawasa and he will understand then how the Government and Parliament decided that a budget allocation be made so that those funds could now be accounted for…Let also Mr Antonio Mwanza go to court for interpretation if he thinks the allocation is illegal…it’s his democratic right but at the same time he should not mislead the people…

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  17. I believe we have ACC, High Court, and Constitutional Court, Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Auditor General to determine whether this is legal.

    Let the law take its course.

    #Bufi

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  18. LT why are you blocking my submissions why moderate Zakeyo doesn’t insult but brings out interesting and intelligent points and a long time contributer from time immemorial…kikikikiki

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  19. RSA has an office of Public Protector which investigates cases of abuse of office and offences against the people by those in power. Zambia should seriously consider this because most us are not able to take cases like this to court due to lack of funds.

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  20. Coming to Antonio Nawakwi don’t divert our attention from more serious isssues. Have you sorted out the problems in in your mother’s party first?

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  21. you will keep crying while these two illiterate buffoons continue fattening themselves and their families. Why do you think the chakolwa has increased his travelling? this is to make up for the loss of giivng up half his salary for political gains. Instead of backing UPND for the petition to be heard , you all felt jealous of HH and instead thought it better to have these dogs in power. we warned you

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  22. Hello Zambians. You great people I ask you to vote NEZ as best Blogger. The nominations are opened. Please exercise your right to vote by voting me the most honest man here as blogger of the year. I trust you will make one right decision this year. You already made an error by voting in PF, so please undo your wrong by voting NEZ and nominating me as best blogger. I thank you in advance….

    NEZ
    Chief Strategist of the UPND

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  23. The LT is becoming dirty everyday, since the going on service of the dog.
    The story itself lacks substance, but is written so that the one MP party can continue being heard about.
    If, however, Antonio was serious with the article, then I can say that we are dealing with a very dull secretary General of a party.

    The office of the first lady was being funded under Chiluba, Mwanawasa, Banda and Sata. Why does the fool want it to cease being an office?
    Is it because of his hatrade for PF or the first lady?
    When you talk about K1,500,000.00 per year or K125,000.00 per month, do you think that is enough for her to carry out her duties?

    Your president has served two terms and she doesn’t want to go. Don’t you think that is a more serious issues?
    Talk about issues and not bark…

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  24. k1,5million=$1,500,000 approximately.

    DIVIDE By 365days = $41,095 per Day for one person.

    If $41,095 worth of school desks/tabs/food-packs/ was to be procured for 365 primary schools around the country, ask me what difference would it make?

    Or $41,095 per day to UTH, Kitwe Central, Ndola General, & all Hospitals around the country. Not even MILLPARK or MORNINGSIDE HOSPITALS receive such funds.

    But zoona we have misplaced our priorities. It reminds me of FTJ’s Slush fund. No one can point to where all those billions went.

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  25. Come on that’s in KWACHA not in USD or Sterling! Small change for First Lady’s Office considering the important nature of its purpose. MORE…that’s what we say!

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  26. Bukuba bwa maZambians, kuyonga Lungu sizizi kusi cimbeka munungu fa lioma kuli mulonga kiwoo cwale busa nja tuwe! Mukalani hau kala ku huhulela niku nyelela fa patalaza kipeto sifosi ki mang’i? Nyoni, mu bakehe bukuba bwamina kibwa kaloyawe litambani tuni?

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  27. FDD does not comprehend the functions of first lady.

    How does helping the vulnerable people become theft.

    FDD must realise that the office of first lady is allocated a salary.

    By that itself it means that she has to work because sitting idle at statehouse would imply being paid for nothing.

    Therefore, not allocating funds to the office of first lady is what would imply stealing, as she will be paid anyway.

    But FDD is in a dilemma because if Nawakwi became president the office of first lady would become inapplicable.

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  28. this is what happens when you elect “Non-Zambians” to high office….Just look at what Chiluba did, RB and now Lungu….1.5 million!!! that is how they steal money openly and blatantly..

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  29. fellow country men and women, we owe it to ourselves to properly govern our country by laws as established . To obey the law and live by the law. It is amazing that the August House, The Zambian Parliament , would sit and debate matters which are themselves illegal . I cant imagine the Speaker , a learned Judge, presiding over illegality in Parliament not unknowingly , but with full knowledge.
    what we have here fellow country men and women is a clear manifestation of a failed STATE.
    The SPEAKER and his HOUSE allocates Public funds to an OFFICE which does not exist. And Because it does not Exist it can not be AUDITED. In short PUBLIC funds are being given to Mrs LUNGU to enjoy.
    I wonder which account these moneys will be deposited , who are the signatories, who is the controlling…

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  30. The current first lady has not yet gotten the bucks. Those that have enough brains to challenge this can legally do so and stop it.

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  31. That’s the problem of having imbecile leaders.
    From the beginning if the will of people is respected in Banana Republic like Zambia all those leaders who ruled this country would have not been presidents.
    In 1972 Kaunda would have left office, he imposed himself on the people by force for 27 years. People got fed up started using any illegal means to remove him.
    Then we rushed to elect Chiluba who brought officially inaugurated corruption.
    Mwanawasa was not my choice but he performed better.
    Then Banda in cover of finishing the projects started by Mwanawasa. Banda came to enrich himself although he understood the financial credit system.
    Then Sata who was rejected by people by imposing third term bid, he became president.
    No policy or agenda for country , he ruled the country…

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