FILE: First Lady Esther Lungu with the Litunga (L) and the Ngambela (R) at Lealui Palace on Tuesday, September 25,2018 shortly after she paid Courtesy call on the Litunga in Western Province where she is expected to commission 20 early childhood centres that have been constructed by Save the Children Foundation

Civil rights activist Laura Miti has appealed to US Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote to withdraw the donation to Zambia of four fire trucks that First Lady Esther Lungu is due to receive in the US.

It was revealed that Mrs. Lungu is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles this week for a two week trip to receive four fire trucks that were donated to the Zambian government.

According to records obtained from State House, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is processing American Visas for 25 travellers, among them a bedroom attendant, cook, cleaner, waiter, about seven police officers, four journalists, three secretaries, two fire brigade officers, a communications officer and accountant.

Senior Private Secretary in the Office of the First Lady Florence Chawelwa confirmed that government was paying for the delegation, adding that security could not be compromised because it was a VVIP assignment.

“The first lady brokered support from an organisation called Los Angeles Lusaka Sister Committee. This committee was established in 1967 by Dr Kenneth Kaunda with the then mayor of Los Angeles. The partnership has been in existence for more than 50 years now and the organisation has done different projects in health, entrepreneurship education and water. So when the First Lady came into office in 2015, she was visited by one of the directors of the organisation because they have also been working with the former first ladies. So she went back and came back again last year to check on their projects and discovered the issue of our fires in the markets. So when she came for a courtesy call to the first lady, she promised the first lady that she would go back and mobilise for fire tenders so that they can be donated to the first lady,” Chawelwa explained.

The trip is being sponsored by government because these things are coming to the Government of the Republic of Zambia. And you know this trip’s sponsorship we don’t want to compromise ourselves as government for people to start sponsoring our First Ladies [because] next time you will hear that ‘no there was something happening.’ so some of the questions I think really boarder on integrity, security and so on.”

She said moving a VVIP like the First Lady needed a reasonably big delegation.

According to State House records, the committee to receive four fire trucks for the Republic of Zambia is expected to travel on Tuesday next week and will only return to Lusaka on January 31, 2019.

Delegation list:

1. Amos Malupenga – Local Government Permanent Secretary
2. Florence Chawelwa – Senior Private Secretary
3. Agnes Imasiku – Communications officer
4. Wellington Mulambo – Chief fire officer at Ndola City Council
5. Robert Banda – Deputy chief fire officer at Lusaka City
6. Mwansa Mumba – Reporter at Zambia Daily Mail
7. Victor Mwila – Reporter at ZANIS
8. Doreen Nakapizye – Cameraperson at ZANIS
9. Thomas Nsama – Photographer at State House
10. Sandra Ngushi – Staff officer
11. Dominic Kabamba – Staff officer
12. Chimuka Chuulu – Staff officer
13. Musonda Sindazi – Staff officer
14. Lewis Mtonga – Staff officer
15. Christianity Kondolo – Staff officer
16. Christine Nakazwe – Staff officer
17. Cecilia Mwanza – Medical personnel
18. Musonda Chitunga – Cook
19. Chipo Chica – Waiter
20. Charity Chirwa – Bedroom Attendant
21. Clara Chomba – Cleaner
22. Mando Phiri – Accountant
23. Dorothy Musonda Chibwe – Personal Assistant
24. Mary Kafita Kaonde – Secretary

But Ms. Miti says the US government must bar the First Lady from undertaking this trip.

In an Open Letter to Ambassador Foote, Ms. Miti said the trip is a waste of national resources.

“Please get your government to withdraw the donation to Zambia of four fire trucks. Please do not think of as us ungrateful, but we would rather save the money our 1st Lady and a delegation of 25 are about to spend to go and receive the trucks. We honestly don’t really need them. Please Mrs Lungu,” she wrote.

She described Mrs. Lungu’s planned trip to the US as inexplicable.

Ms. Miti said a number of desperate children could be kept in school for years by the money the First Lady is going to blow carrying a delegation of 25 to receive 4 fire trucks donated to Zambia.

“If we must waste hundreds of thousands of dollars to go and receive fire-trucks we don’t even need, when children are failing to pay relatively small amounts of school fees, what kind of country are we?”

“Mrs. Lungu please think about the thousands of young people who will drop out of school, not enter college this January, because you choose to go to the US for no justifiable reason. What must we do to stop this unnecessary suffering by millions, this killing of whole futures so that a few of you at the top can live shockingly opulent lifestyles. So that you can live wonderfully on the taxes of people who are failing to breathe.”

She added, “Mrs. Lungu, I wish you wouldn’t go or at least drastically cut your delegation then direct that money to school fees. Please.”

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54 COMMENTS

    • The president now lives in SA in expensive hotels and getting salary+allowances at the cost of the country. And now the wife is also joining him wasting the little that the husband left. Ditch the donation to save money.

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    • Charity Chirwa….Bedroom attendant…interesting job….it should have been a guy working as a bedroom attendant for Esther…….never heard of such positions before……So Esther Lungu needs someone to attend to her when she is in her bedroom….yaba

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    • Yaba, bushilu ubu. Why not ship the damn things to Zambia so the first lady can receive them in Zambia. They just want to loot the coffers!!!

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    • whatever these twenty five tax payers money looters are going to do could be done by the Zambian Embassy officials at no cost at all .These twenty five thieves are just going to help themselves to more tax payers cash at a time when we do not have an health system that cannot even provide quality medical care for Mulongonti .

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  1. Thats an entourage and half.I rarely agree with Laura because sometimes she is too personal but on this one,Iam with her.The entourage is just too big.Why two reporters and photographer respectively for a single event?

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    • This is embarrassing to Amos Malupenga. This is worst thing he has ever put up.
      12 men and 12 women, I suspect something.
      1 First Lady.

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    • I smelt a RAT
      1. Two weeks
      2. Wrong person heading delegation
      3. Why government sponsors for none governmental donated items
      3. How will they transport them to Zambia ????????
      Zambia will NEVER see any development with these dimwits wasting resources.

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  2. If that’s true better to leave fire trucks,it will be very expensive, how can she go with a delegation of 25 people. I agree with you, that’s wasting taxi payer’s money. Let her think twice about that.

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  3. Even cleaners! WOW!!! What kind of dirt this cleaner will do? Is the First Lady such a dirty person and she needs a cleaner? Is she a toddler?

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  4. The looting of Zambia continues unabated ……5 people would suffice…and this is not a 2 day visit….stop lying.

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  5. When opposition and CSOs run out of ideas, this is the result. Senseless issues!!! Who told this ugly wench we don’t need fire trucks?? Instead of issues like lobbying for miners who may lose their jobs she sticks to political issues. If we are not careful we might end up with a parliament dominated by 1 party because our opposition is really deteriorating at an alarming rate!!

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  6. When opposition and CSOs run out of ideas, this is the result. Senseless issues!!! Who told this ugly woman we don’t need fire trucks?? Instead of issues like lobbying for miners who may lose their jobs she sticks to political issues. If we are not careful we might end up with a parliament dominated by 1 party because our opposition is really deteriorating at an alarming rate!!

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  7. Me I just feel I can slap somebody, UNZA students have no bed space and chi munthu goes to buy vima fire tenders at 42 million dollars (42 billion kwacha old currency), I don’t belong to any of the hopeless political parties in Zambia but I am just rational. And now some body should go and receive 4 fire trucks with 25 people. What is wrong with you people kansi? Just what is the problem please

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    • @pompeo!!!!!! The problem is these people are dumb, lazy, clueless, visionless and useless

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  8. Cold, heartless, and insensitive excesses by the first family! Do these people think? Or they have departed with thinking? This action must qualify for this family to leave State House! It is the opposite of clever, some one tell this undeserving first lady. I concur that the Americans withdraw the gift so we can serve taxpayer’s money which this woman wants to spend like its her mother’s. These are people we should never have sent to State House in the first place. This is extravagance is very painful.

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  9. This is really total waste of resources. Just the cost to delegation itself can buy us new fire engines and we cannot see that. And staying in the US for over 10 days for that matter does not make sense.
    This is clear daylight robbery and stealing of government resources.
    If the US government can listen this is one reason why they should listen. Let them tell us that they will send the fire engines to Lusaka and we can commission them here at fire brigade offices. They can even invite as money cameras as they want as PF – no problem.
    Madam Miti hammer and hit them hard!!!!!!
    What a disaster!!!

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    • SIMPLE, COMMON SENSE QUESTION, WHAT IS THE COST OF THE TRIPE AND HOW MANY FIRE ENGINES CAN YOU GET FROM THE COST OF THE TRIPE? ALSO REMEMBER, REMEMBER SOMEBODY IS DYING PER MINUTE DUE TO LUCK SIMPLE AND CHEAP MEDICINES. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!

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    • I support the suggestion that the Americans send over the fire engines (if they have to!!) and Ambassador Foote officiate at the handover ceremony on behalf of the donors. This is senseless waste of our meagre resources. Lungu’s wife does not feel the pain because she does not know what it means to be over – taxed. She does not pay a single ngwee in taxes, but wants to be champion at spending monies the poor people of this country are hard pressed to pay in taxes.

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  10. If some one is not happy let them buzz off and take up Tanzanian or Rwandan citizenship where the term ”austerity measures” means exactly what they says. Bang your head against the wall and hang.

    Folks this is Zambia, a land of a million ironies where we don’t mean what we say. Everything is inverted – the sky is green and the grass is blue.

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  11. But what is our Ambassador there for? or if you are going to send someone, why not send a person from the fire department? I thought this was actually a joke.

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  12. But she is FIRST LADY! We can’t send our state asset off without proper security and backup to do her diplomatic friendship building mission.

    And perhaps this Laura Miti ‘tool,’ can explain to us how Ambassador Foote is to intervene in the matter? It’s like when USA First Lady went to Malawi, could it have worked if USA citizens went to the Malawian embassy and asked her to be prevented from going to Malawi even though she was jnvited? These so called civil activists are pointless, hyperventilating, self promoting, mediocre nonentities looking for a free meal at the US embassy. It’s that, “….er…would you care for another glass of chamoagne, (more like American beer),” that she and her kind go there for.

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    • Also publishing the list of the backup staff should be investigated. This list should be shrouded as such visits must be of highest security. Ambassador Foote should not receive these individuals as it flies against good relations.

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    • Your thinking my brother or sister is pathetic to say the least…..how would you support such a thing… God will judge you

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    • @Chintu, the kings and queens at the time of Our Christ had even more entourage and fineries. This is what First Ladies do. Travel to improve relations, and most diplomatic political networking are costly, but reflect the importance of state and it’s representatives.

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  13. Where is Pilato? Help Laura in her noble cause to save Zambian tax money! Why does this delegation have so many people doing one job? For example why so many communication duplicates: Isnt Agness Imasiku enough to inform those who want this lousy information? Why is she going with Daily Mail who should be paying for such things on their own?
    1 Agnes Imasiku – Communications officer
    2. Mwansa Mumba – Reporter at Zambia Daily Mail
    3. Victor Mwila – Reporter at ZANIS
    4. Doreen Nakapizye – Cameraperson at ZANIS
    5. Thomas Nsama – Photographer at State House

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  14. Ba LT efyo tumyebela! Anything to do with Lungu and you start blocking people. Atase!
    Where is Pilato? Help Laura in her noble cause to save Zambian tax money! Why does this delegation have so many people doing one job? For example why so many communication duplicates: Isnt Agness Imasiku enough to inform those who want this lousy information? Why is she going with Daily Mail who should be paying for such things on their own?
    1 Agnes Imasiku – Communications officer
    2. Mwansa Mumba – Reporter at Zambia Daily Mail
    3. Victor Mwila – Reporter at ZANIS
    4. Doreen Nakapizye – Cameraperson at ZANIS
    5. Thomas Nsama – Photographer at State House

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  15. Whatever these twenty five tax payers money looters are going to do could be done by the Zambian Embassy officials at no cost at all .These twenty five thieves are just going to help themselves to more tax payers cash at a time when we do not have an health system that can provide quality medical care for Mulongonti .This is what happens when you have a country led by someone who loses his mental abilities due excessive consumption of alcohol .

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  16. I don’t want to spoil the soup, guys you have spoken enough. Much as raising cash for the national confer is a challenge, the sad reality is how a bit of cash available it being passionately wasted by the people we have entrusted with authority at various level starting from the highest offices. It is time Government realized that the over-milked cow is now very weak and bedridden because of overtaxing and thought of a despondent future of debt paying. Wondering why the position of the auditor general is not filled? Guess right!

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  17. 25 member delegation to receive 4 fire tenders over a period of 2 weeks. Speaks volumes in itself. It’s unfathomable that there can be people supporting this self indulgent waste of resources sojourn.

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  18. That’s the way it should be done.
    You don’t honor invitations if you are going to embarrass us in the US.

    The same loud mouths like Laura have no policies or diplomatic ettiquette but ignorance of governance tenets.

    Let Laura form a party so that she can be getting on trains when she travels.

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  19. This is a beauty of technology and social media in particular. Don’t raise your BP for nothing. I personally and my family cannot be moved by such fabrication. Just look at the language in this article and for sure you will question the authenticity of the story. Even a president does not move with bedroom attendant. Who does that?

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  20. Imwe ma upendi. How true is that news. Dont bring ZWD garbage.

    This matter appeared on upendi zwd online for radicalized followers

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  21. I support president Lungu a lot. On this one I cannot. Why is it other people are always making him look bad. He did well with DRC elections, one week later his wife and PF are trying to pull stunts like this.

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  22. I wanted to make a comment for or against, until I saw the name Laura Miti. This trib.al, you cannot tell when she is genuinely concerned or fake or simply try.ing to seek the attention of Trib.al Hacks for some unknown objectives, like to be appointed a PS in one of the government departments. I prefer to stay safe from her, where is her husnand by the way? Still in self imposed exile in south africa, I mean a shanty of Jburg.

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  23. Didn’t finish, I mean in the hopeless dream that Trib.al Ha ks becomes President. …kikikiki…ahedee!

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Comments are closed.