Outspoken young politician and Former ZANASU Vice President Prince Ndoyi has asked for clarity from National Planning and Development Minister Lucky Mulusa and his counter part from Informantion Kampamba Mulenga who is the Chief Government spokesperson on the alleged utterances by Mr Mulusa on the purchase of the 42 fire tenders
Mr Ndoyi who is aligned with the MMD as a policy analyst says the two minsters should tell Zambians whether it was fine for the minister to go in public and say the things he said on the purchase of fire tenders or if there is a code of conduct for cabinet ministers and political appointees prohibiting them from such utterances against the government they are serving in.
Mr Ndoyi who seems to enjoy taunting the UPND by issuing disparaging statements against its leadership today turned his guns towards the Minister saying the conduct of Mr Mulusa where he is seen mocking the fire tenders as ‘Wheelbarrows’ is not only a dent on the image of government but seems to qualify the lack of understanding by Zambians on the procurement of the fire trucks.
“….Did Minister Mulusa breach the Rule of Collective Responsibility when he teased on his government and fellow cabinet ministers? Was Minister Mulusa genuinely joking or holds the view that there was corruption in the said procurement and that there is corruption in government?
Mr Ndoyi expressed disappointment that instead of the minister having a field day laughing at fellow cabinet ministers he should have taken advantage by dealing with the allegations of corruption of monstrous proportions being presented by the opposition by way of providing adequate information.
“This is the sorry excuse we have for a Minister in his “Rent A Crowd ” conversations with Zambians in public. The opposition presents you with allegations of corruption of monstrous proportions, and instead of dealing with it, you qualify it by mocking the government you are serving under. And whilst you may be happy for us to be distracted with your lewd and indecorous talk, instead it was better to keep quite or defend government,” he said.
“What are the rules, directives, practices, understandings, standards and norms governing the circumstances under which a Minister or political appointee should defend his reputation in his official capacity or in his personal capacity and address allegations publicly, such as in Parliament.
“What we seek from the minister or indeed the Chief Govt Spokesperson is not an expression of their personal opinion, but an answer on the norms upheld in their government among Ministers and political appointees, as they relate to the issue of defending their reputation for honest dealing in their official or public capacity. The integrity of our leaders in government, and the consequent trust that our people place in the government, could not have been more emphatically touted by past governments,” he said
He challenged Mr Mulusa to either resign if he were as honorable as he portrayed himself or explain whether he was admitting that he was willfully serving in a corrupt government as insinuated in the video.
“The norms upheld in government among Ministers and political appointees in their official capacity is a fair question for Hon. Lucky Mulusa. The truth of the matter is that Hon. Lucky Mulusa had breached the Oath of moral obligation, why? Because if any of the above were true, the Minister indirectly admits that he is willfully serving in a government that he is saying is corrupt and if he was as honorable as he tries to portray himself he should have resigned.
He asked Mr Mulusa to defend himself and government by suing the publishers of the video if he was falsely accused.
“In conclusion as a quote says, ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Any Minister who is accused of improper conduct must clear his name publicly.
“He should not allow the allegations to fester and affect the reputation of the Government. If it is a serious allegation, we would expect the Minister to take court action against the publishers of the video for defamation, unless there are other special considerations.
“He may also need to render account in Parliament, particularly because the matter concerns his discharge of public duties and is of public interest. These are not mutually exclusive options. In all cases, there must be a public government position on this matter,” he said.
Mr Ndoyi’s comment comes as a timely observation, as Zambians are eagerly waiting on what President Lungu will do as he has been on record asking Mr Lucky Mulusa to step down. Vice President Inonge Wina has as well informed the nation, rising to respond to a point of order in parliament, stating that disciplinary action awaits Mr Mulusa against his conduct, and asked whether that may lead to him being fired she declined to answer.