‘Idle’ Judge Chikopa angers NGO, East MP

The continued stay of Malwian judge Lovemore Chikopa in Zambia has angered Non Governmental Organisation and East MP who have described it as a waste of public funds.

Kasenegwa Member of Parliament Victoria Kalima has accused government of having failed to explain to Zambians why judge Chikopa continued to be in Zambia for doing nothing.

And Alliance for Good Governance (AGG) says it is appalling for government to carelessly and arrogantly insist that the Malawian judge should continue staying in Zambia and that citizens should not be worried about how much was being spent for his stay.

AGG chairperson Reverend Pukuta Mwanza said it was morally and politically incorrect for government to defend and justify the continued stay of judge Chikopa in the country when the man was not doing anything.

Ms Kalima said information minister Kennedy Sakeni’s defence of judge Chikopa’s stay in Zambia was balling, unfair and not fit for a person in office employed to serve the needs and interests of Zambians.

“It is not fair for government to continue spending money on judge Chikopa for doing nothing while Members of Parliament have not received their Constituency Development Fund (CDF),” she said.

She said it is irresponsible for government to divert money meant o help Zambians, to irrelevant issues when the PF has completely failed to keep its campaign promises.

“It is a shame that this government is even proud to say that a person who is sitting idle in the country will not go back to his country but continue to fete him at an expensive hotel.

“We demand that government explain why they are spending money on the foreign judge instead of giving it to the suffering Zambians,” she said.

Ms Kalima said this was a clear sign that the current government was not interested in the welfare of its people preferring to entertain its hidden agenda.

She said unless things were cleared, Zambians will be left with no choice but to suspect that somebody must be having a cut in these monies being spent on Chikopa.

“How can Mr Sakeni say Zambians should not worry about what is being spent when it is tax payers’ money? Barely a year in office and they start telling us not to caution on the questionable administration. What will become of the national treasury in the next five years? We are Zambians and it is our money, it is not money from Sakeni’s pocket so we demand for a proper explanation as to why they are doing things that are not straight.

“What type of a government is this?  As law makers interested in the lives of Zambians we shall talk and demand for right things to be done.

Can the PF sit down and rethink on how they want to govern this country,” she said.

She said government had promised that they would receive the monies not later than July 2012 but surprisingly the PF government had prioritised spending money on things that were not budgeted for leaving out things that were not budgeted for.

The MP said there were no developmental projects going on in constituencies due to lack of funds.

“I am challenging the Local Government Minister Emerian Kabanshi  to explain what is happening on the issues of CDF.

This money was there but where is it now? Can the PF be transparent in the way there are doing things in the nation because already Zambians have felt the impact of the failure by this government to fulfil its promises. Is they CDF being used for the up keep of Chikopa? ,” she questioned.

Rev Mwanza said President Sata and the Patriotic Front (PF) government have disappointed many Zambians on their style of governance and management of public resources.

He has warned that the writing was on the wall for President Sata and his PF because there is a lot of apprehension on the ground as people were questioning the seriousness of the PF government on good governance.

Rev Mwanza said in an interview that Zambians had all the rights to demand the status of Judge Chikopa and how much government was spending on a man who has been in the country for almost five months without doing anything.

Chief Government spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services said Zambians should not worry about how much government was spending on Judge Chikopa because according to him running government was not cheap.

But Mr Sakeni has forgotten that President Sata and the PF were elected into government on the promises that they would cut the costs of running government by reducing cabinet and cutting foreign trips.

Rev Mwanza observed that President Sata has shown that he did not mean what he promised the people as he has bloated his cabinet through the bundling and re-bundling of ministries.

“It is appalling for government to carelessly and arrogantly tell off citizens that they should not be worried about the continued stay of the Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa and how much was being spent on him. Mind you, President Sata and the PF campaigned on the grounds that they would cut the cost of running government. But what we are seeing is that President Sata and the PF are the most extravagant,” Rev Mwanza said.

He advised that President Sata should pull up his socks and begin working turning some of the promises to reality instead of attacking people who are pointing out his shortcomings in the way he is managing the country.

He said the change Zambians voted for last year has not been realized and that the sooner President Sata realized his folly the better for him and the country.

He said government was carelessly spending money on Judge Chikopa and that President Sata will harshly be judged by the courts of history and posterity after he leaves office.

Rev Mwanza charged that it was morally wrong for government to continue keeping Judge Chikopa whether his stay was expensive or cheap.

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