Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) says it is shocking that government wanted to hide from Zambians that they have borrowed $192 million from China unless it wasn’t their intention of using that money for security purposes.
YALI Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza has told QFM News in a statement that the call by Chief Government Spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili to have the people who have disclosed to the media on Government borrowing $192 million from China arrested is misplaced.
Mr. Mwanza says while he agrees with Mr. Kambwili that it is an offence to leak classified Government document and that the State is not obliged to disclose security matters to the public, informing the public that Government has on their behalf acquired a public loan that would be used on Security matters is not disclosing security matters.
Mr. Mwanza says what Government must acknowledge is that they had wanted to hide the fact that they had acquired such a huge loan from another foreign government which the Zambian people ought to know about because it is the people who are going to pay these loans.
He says he is concerned that Government has continued to overlook the motion that Parliament unanimously passed on 17th October 2013 that compels government and the Minister of Finance to seek authorization from parliament before any external and internal debts are contracted.
He has however agreed with Mr. Kambwili that the practice of leaking Government documents especially Cabinet decisions and discussions need to come to an end.
He says what is sad is that even some leaders like Minister of Tourism and Arts Jean Kapata, other Cabinet Ministers and non Cabinet Ministers like Newton Ng’uni had the courage to use the same cabinet documents, discussions and decisions in furtherance of their own political battles during the handover of power from the then acting President Edgar Lungu to Guy Scott when President Sata had died in London.
He furthermore states that that action by the Ministers and Mr. Ng’uni had set a bad precedent which these civil servants are now following.
Mr. Mwanza has since appealed to President Lungu to show transparency in the way he is governing the nation.