INFORMATION has emerged that the conversation between Minister of Information Chishimba Kambwili and Kitwe district commissioner and patron of the Presidential Empowerment Fund for marketeers, Chanda Kabwe, was secretly recorded.
According to investigations conducted by the Daily Nation, both Mr. Kambwili and Mr. Kabwe were shocked by the tapping and subsequent publication of the conversation as well as its circulation on social media.
It is not clear at what point the conversation which has now been posted on social media was intercepted and recorded.
Mr. Kabwe said he was shocked and taken aback that his private discussion with Mr. Kambwili was tapped, misrepresented and is now being circulated on social media by the Post Newspaper.
In the discussion, Mr. Kambwili was seeking an assurance from Mr. Kabwe and President Lungu’s special advisor for political affairs Kaizer Zulu that there was money available for the programme to cover the rest of the country.
In the discussion which was secretly recorded, Mr. Kambwili was more concerned with the continuity of the project considering the number of marketeers involved and warned that failure to meet the objective would have a negative effect as the opposition would take advantage of the situation.
He was merely advising Mr. Kabwe to stop advertising the project if there was no money available for the project but did not say, as the Post suggested, that the PF would lose an election “if we continue lying to marketeers that we will give them loans when we have no money”.
The interpretation of the conversation, a committee member said, was wrong because many marketeers had already been given money as publicly witnessed by the media where money had been given to marketeers in many parts of the country.
“The initiative has disbursed thousands of Kwacha already. Mr Kambwili was more concerned with the continuity of the project considering the number of marketeers involved and warned that failure to meet the objective would have a negative effect as the opposition would take advantage of the situation,” the source said.
On Thursday, the Post carried a story based on tapped phone conversation between the two PF officials while portraying a picture that Mr. Kambwili said the PF would lose the election if it continued with the programme for marketeers before uploading the recording on social media.