Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Garry Nkombo says all contractors who were fraudulently awarded road contracts during the Patriotic Front (PF) regime will be prosecuted.
And Mr Nkombo has advised Zambians to reject politicians who are championing tribal politics.
Mr Nkombo said the government is aware of some contractors including two PF candidates in the 2021 General elections who stood for Kapiri Mposhi Member of Parliament and Council Chairmanship respectively who were illegally awarded road contracts and did not fulfill contractual obligations.
Speaking in Kapiri Mposhi when he handed over CDF grants to 41 Marketeers, Mr Nkombo disclosed that he has documentation in his office indicating all fraudulently awarded contracts stating that those involved would soon be followed up.
He charged that the previous government illegally awarded most feeder road contracts in the country to contractors aligned to PF officials and who could unfortunately not deliver the projects even after being paid at inflated prices leading to the government losing huge sums of money.
The Minister revealed that most of these contracts have since been terminated and are being investigated.
“A certain parliamentary candidate here in Kapiri was given a contract to work on 23 kilometers of feeder roads, but they allowed him to indicate that it was 28 kilometers. Another PF official was given a contract to work on a road in Magoye in Southern Province. These road contracts were being awarded to PF aligned individuals in a fraudulent manner, ”Mr Nkombo said.
And Mr Nkombo has charged that no tribe in Zambia is superior to others stating that the UPND government will treat each tribe as equals in actualising its development agenda.
Mr Nkombo advised Zambians to reject politicians championing tribalism warning that tribalism should be entertained anymore as it is divisive and a danger to democracy.
“Be careful who is courting you. We are all one people. It is an abomination to exalt yourself based on your ethnic extraction. It is wrong simply put,” Mr Nkombo said.
The Minister charged that it was wrong for leaders like Socialist Party President, Fred M’membe to suggest that some tribes are superior to others and are more entitled to rule the country.
Reacting to recent comments by Socialist Party leader, Fred M’membe Mr Nkombo stated that no tribe should think it is more capable of governing the country.
“I am now addressing Fred M’membe. This Bemba courage, Lozi wisdom narrative should not be encouraged. And I am telling you people gathered here that you should reject such leaders. We have about 72 tribes in this country, and this narrative being propagated by Dr Fred M’membe is implying that only two tribes are capable of providing leadership in this country. The Bemba courage and Lozi wisdom will not take us anyway. This is divisive. And practicing tribal politics should not be encouraged in a modern democracy,” Nkombo said.
Meanwhile, Mr Nkombo said President Hakainde Hichilema has exceeded his own campaign promise of increasing CDF as he has increased the fund by over 1000 percent for it to have a greater impact on and coverage of various social and economic sectors.
“During campaigns Mr Hakainde Hichilema pledged to increase CDF to USD 1 million dollars he has exceeded and beaten his own promise now CDF is now about USD 1.5 million. Remember what it was before it was K 1.6 million kwacha,” Mr Nkombo said.
And Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Stanley Kakubo has said that the CDF has had a greater reach and impact since the new dawn administration assumed office.
Mr Kakubo who is also Kapiri Mposhi Member of Parliament said the current development through CDF being witnessed across the country can be attributed to quality leadership being exhibited by President Hakainde Hichilema.
“ All this development is a clear indication that when you choose quality leadership that has a vision development is guaranteed and 2021 you decided to vote for a leadership that has a vision and is committed to uplifting the living standards of people in the country,” Kakubo said.