Resignation was not betrayal but respect for President Sata-GBM

I did not betray President Michael Sata by resigning from government but infact exhibited grand respect for the Head of State because I had differed with him purely on principle, former Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has said.

Mwamba said he was part of the people who contributed to the growth and victory of the Patriotic Front (PF) in 2011 and had nothing against President Sata.

Mwamba said he had no regrets over having left government because he did not want to continue serving in government after he had differed with the President Sata.

Mwamba who arrived at Woodlands Police station in the company of Alliance for a Better Zambia (ABZ) president Father Frank Bwalya, his wife Chama, his daughters Thandiwe and Sibongile said his loyalty was with the PF and President Sata and that he was not considering resigning.

Other opposition leaders that were at Woodlands police station in a show of solidarity for the former Defence Minister, included former Foreign Affairs minister in the MMD government Kabinga Pande, Kapembwa Simbao who is the MMD national secretary, political activist Dante Saunders, Independent Lubansenshi MP Patrick Mucheleka and a number of UPND officials.

There was a heavy presence of police and some of the officers were heard saying the summoning of the Kasama Member of Parliament was nothing but a political exercise as Mwamba had just become the latest  victim of political persecution.

Mwamba declined to be drawn into discrediting President Sata, the PF and those who have been attacking and threatening him with expulsion saying he did not want to comment on what some senior party officials had been saying against him.

Asked if he felt that he was being politically persecuted, Mwamba said he did not want to comment on the matter and when further pressed to comment on calls for him to resign, Mwamba only stated: “I belong to the PF. I did not betray President Sata when I resigned but instead I showed respect for him because I had differed with him on principle. Most people including you journalists cannot resign even after you have differed with your bosses.”

And further asked about whether the presence of some opposition leaders meant that he was about to leave the ruling party, Mwamba said he has had a lot of friends in the opposition adding that even in Parliament, he had always interacted with the MPs from the opposition.

Speaking to journalists soon after presenting himself to police at Woodlands police station yesterday, Mwamba praised the police for having been professional in the manner they handled his questioning.

And police have recorded a warn and caution statement from Mwamba for eight counts among which was the Zesco contract for the supply and delivery of  9, 10, and 12 meters wooden poles which was not awarded to Arizona Marketing and Distributors.

Police spokesperson Charity Munganga said Mwamba had also been warned and cautioned over disobedience of statutory duty contrary to section 126 Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Munganga told journalists that Mwamba whilst acting as Republican President is alleged to have committed the offence of disobedience of statutory duty.

Mwamba is also alleged to have abused his authority of office by allegedly directing and influencing the award of a contract for the supply and delivery of wooden poles to Zesco on a one year running contract, an offence that was investigated and closed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Mwamba has further been accused of uttering a false document involving Manufactures AUTHORISATION, Company profile and pole specifications to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA).

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