The other day, leader of an obscure political enterprise going by the name – Citizens First, Harry Kalaba, could not escape the fury and frustrations of social media fanatics for crossing the line and pretending, or attempting to demonstrate he is hewn from the same fabric as Rocket Scientists by claiming the much touted Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is nothing, but a scam!
According to a News Diggers Newspaper story carried on their Facebook page, Kalaba insisted that the K1.6 million they used to receive as CDF when he was member of parliament was doing more tangible things than the current K28 million which only exist on paper. He said this when he featured on a Camnet TV programme, Tuesday.
However, some alert netizens, obviously more conversant with current affairs, couldn’t take Kalaba’s insinuations lightly. They immediately went for his throat! Social media enthusiast and fervent blogger, Haggai Muzeya, was first to come out with guns blazing! He dismissed Kalaba’s assertions as cheap politicking and mere propaganda; further citing a report on the impact of CDF around the nation as compiled by the CIC press team. “In order to enable everyone benefit from the national cake,107 groups have received grants amounting to K2.1 million while 39 beneficiaries have received K3.2 Million in Mongu. To boost trade in the area,the Mandanga market was completed through CDF at a cost of over K1 million and will be handed over to the community soon,” the report states in part.
“News Diggers, you claim to be “the home of investigative journalism in Zambia”. Did you validate this assertion from Kalaba, for it to be news?” wondered Mbinji Mufalo. “I subscribe to News Diggers and it is the first news media I read every day, because ND is an appreciated news media. However, lately it seems you are slowly sliding into a “he/she said yaketi yaketi” news media.”
Mundia Lubinda seemed to be on the same page as Mufalo. “How can a newspaper write such nonsense when they can see what’s obtaining in the constituencies e.g. procurement of earth moving equipment, construction of bridges and schools, disbursement of grants and loans etc and yet you give room to Kalaba to brag that the K1.6m was doing great things!” he wondered.
Angelina Angelic chipped in and quipped that “atleast it’s a scam which has reached all constituencies unlike the K1.6m which was only available in previous regimes strongholds and this time around only sharp and intelligent MPs like Sunday Chanda, Clement Andeleki etc are able to utilise the CDF.”
On the other hand, Sandra Chileya advised Kalaba to consider visiting Kanchibiya Constituency just as an example so that he can see, “how CDF is being effectively applied in the area.”
While Kaji observed that HH has mesmerised the likes of Kalaba with his spectacular performance such that they are now unable to pinpot Achilles heels on which to hanker their criticism, others such as Mwila C. Bwanga agreed that CDF is indeed creating an impact in certain parts of the country with Yamikani Daka remarking that only incompetent MPs including some in the government and those from certain disgraced opposition political parties are failing to utilize CDF to deliver development in their constituencies.
“If Kalaba bothered to step out of his comfort zone for once; he’ll certainly appreciate that CDF has triggered development, especially in rural areas,” wrote Zak Zim. In apparent agreement with him, Collins Munthali stated that HH has indeed fixed the rural areas; what is remaining is just fixing the urban areas and the likes of Kalaba will be left with their mouths agape!
Apart from this, Lisa Miselo cautioned the opposition leader to stop pretending and acknowledge the development taking shape in different parts of the country. “We have witnessed what once were mere thatched schools being transformed into modern infrastructure. Where’s the money to finance such projects coming from, if I may ask?” She mused.
The tone of the debate then changes afterwards with most bloggers not having any kind words for the CF leader.
Mwansa Rampa Have who claims to have been to Bahati where Kalaba once served as area MP retorted, “this guy is a joker! He did nothing for the people of bahati. Even the previous MP who stood on his party ticket was voted out by the people of bahati.”
“What is our former foreign affairs minister smoking for him to fail to comprehend what is taking place around the country?” wondered Dugan Chisense while Eugene Ngosa described the issues Kalaba was raising as childish and laughable; “no wander he failed to develop Bahati constituency!”
Others such as Henry Mulenga dismissed Kalaba as an unwise individual who has failed to establish that his Malawian mentor and pastor, Bushiri, is simply a magician busy at work hoodwinking gullible members of the public, while Zack Dony added that, “Kalaba alaba bwangu.” He concluded by stating that anybody who passed through PF has a mental problem!
“The Citizens First leader is simply a confused and frustrated chap!” exclaimed Bernard Mtayachalo as Newton Kayumba described him as worse than the late Chama Chakomboka. “I wonder why his brains fail to coordinate with his mouth at critical times.”
The likes of Mumbi Mukuka took it upon themselves to ‘educate’ Kalaba that a total of 32 projects have been completed in Chinsali under CDF so far; including loans, grants, school bursaries, desks and skills development.
Interestingly, Sylvester Nsofwa bemoaned that, “If there’s a President in Zambia that people have to come to hate with a passion and for no apparent reason, it’s HH.
Whatever he does essentially has no approval from the so called opposition. They harbour grudges against the president for a number of reasons: being Tonga, being highly educated, being successful, being smart, being a family man with no record of infidelity and lastly winning the elections with a landslide!”
Not being one to disappoint; Local Government & Rural Development Minister, Hon. Gary Nkombo, stepped in and delivered a knockout punch. He emphasised that the Citizens First leader should strive to have even one MP for his party who will help him understand what’s going on in government.
“Even a grade two pupil would know that K28 million CDF can do more things than K1.6 million!” Nkombo, fondly referred to as Mazembe by many scoffed.
By Prince Bill M Kaping’a