FINANCE Minister Alexander Chikwanda has revealed that the hate and slander crusade being championed by some media houses using some hired individuals was a scheme by named ministers with an evil political agenda of taking over from President Michael Sata before he can complete his first term.
Mr Chikwanda has warned the ministers in the Patriotic Front (PF) government planning to take over the leadership of the ruling party to be careful with their schemes and follow rightful procedure instead of using clandestine maneuvers to succeed President Sata.
He has demanded that law enforcement agencies should thoroughly investigate how a classified government document was leaked to some selected media houses with the sole purpose of waging a hate and slander crusade against him.
He said he was aware that there was a group of individuals within the PF with a personal vendetta against him (Chikwanda) who were determined to scandalize and malign him so that he could be pushed out of the government.
“There are people who have a personal agenda and they are working hard to push me out of government. I know there are some Ministers who think they can take over the presidency of the country even before President Sata has served his first term and they will do everything using their media to propagate hate messages against me so that I should leave government. The presidency is about the choice of the people. Besides, some of us are too old for that office and there is no excitement about it,” Mr Chikwanda said.
Mr Chikwanda further said it was time to compete for investors because Zambia was not the only country looking for investment.
“We should aim at operating at the level of profit for the benefit of the nation,” he said.
Mr Chikwanda said some media houses were acting like mercenaries of economic saboteurs by championing hate propaganda against individuals and investors in the mining sector.
Mr Chikwanda said it was irregular for some sections of the media to accuse him of having business interests in the mines when he was working hard together with his staff to promote and attract investment in Zambia.
He said it was a breach of the oath of secrecy for any senior government official or private organisation to have access to classified government documents and that it had become imperative that those who leaked the letter that was discussing Value Added Tax (VAT) General Administration Rule 18 should be arrested and prosecuted.
“As far as I am concerned, that document which some media house and other hired compatriots are using to attack and slander me is a classified government document that is not supposed to be in any private hands.
This calls for investigations and I urge the law enforcement agencies to begin probing how a classified government document was leaked to some media house,” Mr Chikwanda said.
He said it was sad that there were some individuals to frustrate some people’s efforts adding that the scheme was politically inclined but warned that the people involved would not be able to succeed.
He said he was aware that some political collaborators were aiming at crucifying him for reasons best known to themselves.
Mr Chikwanda argued that he had no interest in mining companies and wondered why some people with personal interest had embarked on a crusade.
He stated that he was not shaken by allegations of personal interest in the mines considering that the people who were on crusade were the ones deliberately distorting facts to gain political mileage.
Mr Chikwanda explained that an exemption was a statutory instrument that had to be approved by the office of the Attorney General.
He said running the economy of the country was not an easy task and advised that media practitioners should never fall into the temptation of abusing their power to settle political scores against their perceived enemies.
Mr Chikwanda further said there were no camps in the ruling party but they were some people who wanted to position themselves for the presidency unnecessarily.
He said the presidency must be respected and that anyone who wanted to be a president must follow a rightful procedure.