|President Rupiah Banda with Southern Province Minister Daniel
Munkombwe at Choma airstrip on Monday 23.08.2010—The
President Rupiah Banda has argued
that his government is committed towards the fight against corruption, contrary
from the public that the vice had become rampant since he assumed the
And President Banda revealed that he was almost beginning to
believe people that are going around saying that his government is doing
Speaking to journalists at Lusaka City airport shortly before
departure for Southern Province, President Banda said those who were saying
government was not serious over the fight against corruption were just
"We are against corruption and we have put the law in place
to fight against corruption. If they are talking about the issue of Mr Frederick
Chiluba, these matters are in court.
They have been in court for a long
time and that is what is spoiling these issues in our country. When a matter
goes to court then we should wait until we hear from them," President Banda
"And now they have ruled the way they have done, it is up to people
to decide what they want to do next. But as far as we are concerned we listen to
the court even when they rule against us. Many times court rulings are against
the government, you know that and we accept it."
President Banda said the
nation could not fight corruption unless the judiciary was allowed to "handle
these matters. So the issue of Mr Chiluba is being handled by the court, and we
think that we should not be involved in making comments about it," he
On gender deputy minister Lucy Changwe, President Banda said: "It
was not the government. You see the problem in Zambia is that everything is
government. If two people are fighting in Kalingalinga I don't know anything
about it. He pointing at Vice-President George Kunda doesn't know anything about
it. But the law says people should not destroy each other, they should not burn
people's property. So they deal with them."
President Banda said he did
not have to tell the police what to do. He said it was for the police to act if
somebody broke the law.
"I don't talk to them about it. You will prove
this as we go forward that we are a very correct government. And I wonder what
kind of country we would have if the opposition parties were in power because
they seem to believe that the government must give directives on everything,"
President Banda said.
"There is the judiciary; there is DEC Drug
Enforcement Commission. They are handled by them, not us. And my Vice-President
is just a victim; it is me they are after."
On plans by civil society
organisations to petition Parliament over the National Constitutional Conference
(NCC) draft constitution, President Banda said they were free to go
"Again I have nothing to do with that. This is their country, it
is my country. So if they think they are right let them go ahead and petition,"
President Banda also said the benefits to come from the
Choma-Namwala road were already there. He said the road lasted 20 years without
completion, but government had now completed it.
President Banda said
government had built new bridges and a secondary school for girls.
the MP has asked us to come…the benefit is that the people around can now move
with their products to Choma, to the rest of the country much easier than they
did before. And it is not only there, all over the country we are building these
roads," said President Banda.
"We want to open them properly so that the
people will know that the government is working very hard to open up this
And addressing a sparse crowd of MMD cadres, government
officials and commercial farmers that came to receive him on his arrival at
Choma airstrip yesterday morning, President Banda said Zambians will remember
him in 10 years time.
He said although he may not be there then, Zambians
would remember him because in a decade's time the country would be much more
developed than it had ever been.
President Banda who initially said he
did not want to discuss politics said he was in the province to celebrate the
completion of the Choma-Namwala road.
"I won't discuss politics with you
but I want to say how grateful we are to see you," President Banda
"All of you who have come to receive us give us great strength as
the government, meaning that you endorse what we are doing in making every
effort to reconstruct our road system."
President Banda said he had been
in politics for all these years together with Munkombwe, MMD parliamentary chief
whip Vernon Mwaanga and others who were their age mates and that the road from
Choma to Namwala had always been a song and prayer from the people of the
"Please fix our road and we have fixed it. Even the one in front of
us from Lusaka to Livingstone is completed. We have finished it. We do not just
talk," President Banda said.
"I did not come for a meeting today. I was
coming to see the road because I was beginning to believe those who are going
around peddling lies that this government is doing nothing. If building roads is
doing nothing we are going to build more nothings."
President Banda said
he had come to celebrate the new road and the many other roads that he claims
his government had build around the country, with the people of
"We want to have more and more of these good things for the
people," he said. "We will be coming. We are going to keep coming as long as we
do something good we are going to come."
President Banda said his
development agenda was for all Zambians regardless where they came from or even
the political party they were affiliated to.
"Our duty is to unite all
Zambians," President Banda said. "You must feel free to go to any part of this
country to do what you like as long as it is within the laws of this
President Banda, who pronounced the One Zambia One Nation
motto, urged the people of Choma not allow anybody for whatever reason to
separate them from this national slogan.
"We realize we are national
leaders. We are leaders for all…I am President for all Zambians," President
"I don't sleep over you. My concern is whatever you need is
supplied regardless where you come from."
President Banda said people in
his government were very much aware of their duty to the people of
"We are proud that we recognize our responsibility to all
Zambians," President Banda said. "We are your servants. That is why we don't
Earlier MMD provincial chairman Solomon Muzyamba said it was good
that the party had something to show to the people through the completion of the
Namwala-Choma road, even as President Banda was visiting the
Muzyamba said Choma had a very important political history and that
the ruling party was delighted that President Banda opted to visit the district
at this time.
He said through the completion of the road project,
President Banda had done what all the past presidents had failed to
"Southern Province has agreed that the MMD should be supported, so in
2008 you won in Southern Province. We got a lot of votes," Muzyamba
"It is a blessing that at the time you have come people have
something to show. Choma-Namwala road is a political road. All the past
presidents failed to complete it but because of your policies today you have
come to show us that it is possible."
And Southern Province minister
Daniel Munkombwe said rebels within the ruling party would find themselves
swimming in the mud during the MMD convention if they fail to play the political
Munkombwe said he was delighted that the Choma-Namwala
road had been completed and President Banda was going there to specifically see
the beauty of his effort.
"…to see that you have attracted investors in
this country," said Munkombwe as he threw his arms allover. "The Bible says,
'you shall know them by the fruits they bear'. You will be known because of the
fruits you have borne."
Munkombwe said the road was going to be a link
road from Choma to Namwala, Central Province and Western Province.
is not our show. Today it is your show," Munkombwe said.
said the MMD would be going to the convention and he assured a smiling President
Banda that he would win at the convention.
"We will not go to the
convention in order to accommodate rebels. We will not beg them, we will not
apologise to them," said Munkombwe.
"If they don't play the game in a
proper political swimming pool they will find themselves swimming in the
Shortly, before President Banda's plane touched down at Choma
airstrip, Choma district commissioner Laiven Apuleni had to cajole a paltry size
of singing MMD cadres to enhance their singing tempo so that President Banda
would find a thunderous welcome as he touched down.
"I expect our party
cadres and officials to increase the momentum on this music so that when the
President arrives he will find a thunderous welcome," Apuleni
Realising the paltriness of the MMD cadres that came to welcome
President Banda, the masters of ceremony had to ask a crowd comprising mostly
children that were curiously watching a Zambia Air Force (ZAF) plane on which
the advance party came to get closer to the addressing dais.
in the crowd save for the few MMD cadres immediately in front of the addressing
dais, remained non-committal in acknowledging most of President Banda's
A group of marketers displayed a banner demanding for land to
build a modern market in the district whilst on the other hand they were
assuring President Banda that come next year they would vote for him. These
formed part of the few acknowledgers of President Banda's
However, President Banda thanked all the people that left
their busy schedules in order to receive him at the airstrip.
Banda is scheduled to visit Choma, Itezhi-tezhi and Namwala districts over a