Friday, February 23, 2024

HH Defends Vehicle Procurement Amidst Criticism and urges Responsible Use of CDF Monitoring Vehicles

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President Hakainde Hichilema has officially handed over the controversially procured 156 vehicles to be used in the monitoring of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects in all constituencies across Zambia.

The planned procurement of these vehicles by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development raised dust among some stakeholders last year.

In September 2022, media reports circulated alleging that Minister of Local Government Gary Nkombo was involved in corruption relating to the purchase of 156 Toyota Landcruisers Hardbody motor vehicles for Constituencies using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

PF official and former Ambassador to Ethiopia Emmanuel Mwamba alleged that Mr. Nkombo would spend $8.3million (K136million) to purchase 156 Landcruisers for each constituency using Constituency Development Fund(CDF).

Ambassador Mwamba at the time said the 156 Landcruisers were not budgeted for or planned for in the 2021/2022 Budget adding that the procurement was a wasteful expenditure.

In reaction, the Ministry of Local Government issued a statement saying the purchase of 156 vehicles amounting to US$8, 313, 084.00 million is in accordance with the Guidelines of the CDF.

Ministry of Local Government Permanent Secretary Maambo Haamaundu said the CDF Guidelines Part 2 section 2.2.3 on motor purchase provides for the procurement of vehicles aimed at facilitating the monitoring of CDF utilization.

Fast forward to 24th May, 2023, President Hichilema led scores of stakeholders from nearly all parts of the country during a ceremony to handover the vehicles held in the Lusaka Showgrounds.

In his remarks, the Head of State said the New Dawn Government has taken deliberate steps to achieve equitable development in all the 10 provinces in Zambia

President Hichilema urged the constituencies to use the vehicles for their intended purpose of monitoring and evaluating local projects.

“We are delighted to officially hand over 156 vehicles under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to facilitate service delivery to our people in all constituencies across Zambia.In attendance were stakeholders from a cross section of society. Our government has taken deliberate steps towards economic and social transformation to achieve equitable development in all the 10 provinces in Zambia, regardless of political affiliation. This is why we increased CDF from K1.6m to K28.3m per year, that is simultaneously disbursed to every constituency every year without fail,” he said.

“We are encouraged to see that now, through CDF, students have desks and this number is increasing daily. In addition, vulnerable pupils are attending school, the youth are accessing life skills and co-operatives have been empowered to enhance people’s livelihoods. Our guiding principle is people-centred development that ensures access to basic needs for all Zambians in all the corners of our country, so we urged the constituencies to use these vehicles for their intended purpose, to monitor and evaluate local projects because these benefit the whole community, whom we promised to serve,” President Hichilema said.

Meanwhile, 24 hours earlier, Patriotic Front (PF) Vice President Given Lubinda had issued a media statement condemning the Government for inviting scores of people from all parts the country to Lusaka for the vehicles handover ceremony.

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development issued a notice, inviting Councils, Mayors, Council Chairpersons, Members of Parliament, Principal Officers and other government officials to the event.

“We wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms the action by Government on the following score; It is reckless and irresponsible for President Hakainde and his government to spend such colossal sums of money just to handover a motor vehicle to a Council.The country is in dire economic stress with the lack of liquidity, rising youth unemployment, critical shortages of medicines and medical supplies in our healthcare facilities, rising inflation as well as a spiralling cost of living among numerous other economic challenges, yet we have a Government that finds it prudent to use the country’s meagre resources on an unnecessary expenditure such as a handover ceremony of motor vehicles.The money that Government will squander on this ceremony could have been channeled to needy areas such as the procurement of medicines and medical supplies in our healthcare facilities which have been relegated to death centres,” Mr. Lubinda wrote.

26 COMMENTS

  1. For good results, the Ministry of Local Government should develop a project monitoring schedule to define minimum frequency of touring. At the barest minimum, there should be a register of projects going on describing what they are, date started, expected completion, cost of project, name(s) of contractor(s), location etc. There must then be a format of reporting. Without this people will just see an opportunity to go on joy rides. We hv no money to waste like that.

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  2. Ba under 5 government, no direction.
    That is why you have a copy and paste manifesto from Jamaica. The way hichilema was speaking before elections! And what is happening now are totally different. Iam a very disappointed

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  3. It seems opposition politics is becoming tough in Zambia. Seriously, the criticism is childish at best Bo Lubinda. We had a government that saw it prudent to give cadres hard cash to show off on social media and here you are. What is wrong with monitoring of local projects honestly. Get serious please. We need real checks and balances.

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  4. After buying VXs, the f00I now goes ahead to buy expensive land cruisers. They criticised us for building roads but little did they know that building roads would prevent the need for costly cars. Hh is not an economist. Can his qualifications be verified

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    • The price is right its not like it is 1 million dollars PF spent on one fire truck by 42 or those ambulances Chilufya spent $300,000 for something that costs less than $80,000.

  5. This event reminds me of how the PF drew people from all over Zambia and gathered them at Gabon Disaster Stadium at great cost to witness Edgar Lungu sign a defective Constitution. The problem that HH and Garry Nkombo will face in future is that these vehicles have been single sourced and imposed on local authorities. It’s not different from the 42 wheelbarrows . If each of the 156 constituencies were allowed to independently procure similar vehicles it’s very unlikely that they’d have cost the same. While the UPND have arrested people on poorly delivered contracts and sometimes on fictitious charges as in the case of Maxwell Chongu, this is a straight forward case against Garry and his PS

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    • Ever heard of the advantage of negotiation when you are bulk buying Boss? You are actually correct that if they were procured by each constituency independently, the cost would have been different…more expensive.

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    • Ever heard of the advantage of centralised purchasing like what Mr Nkombo did? Its easier for the corrupter to target one man than many. Zambia has
      higher levels of market and political monopolization, and Low levels of democracy, weak civil participation and low political transparency.

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  6. There is nothing wrong with this move, those vehicles are Landcruiser Trooper carriers not those luxury SUVs PF were fond of.

    I’ve never seen this type of Land cruiser at a shopping mall or a lodge, they are used either as ambulance or strict govt work as they are now intended for.

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    • The issue that arises is whether Kabwata Constituency or Lusaka Central needs a vehicle like that. It’s an urban constituency where 4×4 power will not be needed. A simple Toyota Hilux with differential lock would hv been adequate.

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  7. You will only know how important this is if you worked in Kaputa, Mwinilunga, Shangombo and many such districts who have been using 20yrs old cars. Zambia is not Lusaka. This gesture empowers the districts to deliver government programs. If you look at the same cars, they are fit for any terrain. He has spent about 5 million for over 150 cars yet in PF that money would have gone to 5. Lets not politik all the time. You know how bad our roads and how remote some places are.

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  8. This baboon in white underwear called Kaizer can’t get over the fact he is now a nobody and will never ever Amount to anything in zed. PF is dead

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    • Hahaha the truth hurts my dear. You have failed to respond to the salient points I have raised. We were investing in infrastructure like roads so that long term there is no need to procure expensive land cruisers. The case of VXs has gone quiet. In a few months you will see upnd members driving VXs. Let us criticise what is wrong. Just because you are t0nga does not mean you have to agree with all the wrongs of upnd. KakaIa kobe

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  9. It’s not all Constituencies that require those vehicles if indeed the reason is to monitor CDF projects. Some would require motorbikes as those vehicles can’t reach all areas. If each constituency were allowed to find their own means of monitoring those projects, places like Lunga would’ve considered motorized canoes. Just accept that the motive was to give friends business and possibly make commissions and that’s why you have difficulties in justifying the purchase. The UPND aren’t different from the PF. What has only changed is the dress. We now have to deal with red fraud

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  10. My take is that let there be real decentralisation. Requiring government to approve CDF projects defeats that purpose. Similarly, this situation is not a one size fits all. Most cities do not require such cars, whilst some rural district’s need them. Others are better served by motorbikes and others require boats.
    Ironically, HH said that theft in thebPG government occured from Lusaka (cabinet) and now they have decentralised this whilst still making purchases on behalf of the constituencies, LOl.

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    • The government is the principal while local authorities are agents. At any time the government can choose what to delegate and decentralize to its agents. If this matter had been discussed and debated, they would hv realised that some money could hv been saved by buying urban constituencies less expensive vehicles.

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  11. The problem with praise singers is that they can’t think properly. They’re like minibus conductors who see every person by the road side as a potential passenger. You can drop from a bus and while waiting for the road to clear so that you cross to the other side, the conductor from the bus you disembarked will try to load you back without realizing that you actually dropped off from his vehicle. He might even start a fight if another tries to lure you to their bus. This is exactly what UPND cadres do. HH is always right and PF is always wrong. Whoever sees anything wrong with HH then he’s a PF member and must be insulted. Yalikosa

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    • This is where we are unfortunately. And you would expect better from educated people but nope. Archbishop Mpundu was a darling of the UPND when he spoke against the PF, he does so now and he is a bitter old man with mental issues. Sishuwa spoke against PF and he was a hero and fearless, now he is apparently angry that he was not given a job. The same can be said for Brebnar and Sangwa. One cannot disagree with UPND unless they are PF or bitter. And yesterday 3 ministers took to discussing and defending a graph from a Catholic priest.

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  12. I am sure we already enough mechanisms in place… any HH is the most intelligent person in Zambia.

  13. I really wonder what we want in Zambia. UPND is spending millions to empower communities equally regardless of whether it is opposition or ruling party area. When pf were busy staling funds, people were quiet and some were even clapping. I agree with what Prof Lumumba said. In Africa we celebrate thieves and vilify the good women and men.

    • They are spending to get a cut. Budget deficit is over 12%. HH has gobbled 2 billion on his globe trotting. Every minister is Mr. 10 percent cut from supplies to government

  14. UPND is going against what it preached about decentralisation…central govt should never have procured these vehicles especially all 156 of the Land cruisers. Some places like big cities have no need for these vehicles as they have them already….it is wasteful.

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  15. Nkombo HH Cassili Valetine Muna Sashi are in league to shortchange zambia. Mr. Nkombo 10% was paid to you for the procurement of 150 vehicles. Wait and watch. Days of Hyena Hyena will be over in 2026 and all shoddy transactions of Ndola Lusaka road, diesel, fertilisers, kcm, fqm, environment fund, to name a few, will be laid bare with hard evidence. Youwill be running to be caged but public will undress and shame you all in lusaka

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