Post newspaper, 26 Sep 2006
By: George Chellah
THE oil scandal entirely ends on former president Frederick Chiluba’s feet, FDD president Edith Nawakwi has said.
And Nawakwi said she has survived the prosecution on plunder of national resources because she was not part of Chiluba’s inner circle.
Reacting to Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata’s statement that if ushered in office he would investigate both the Carlington maize and oil scandals, Nawakwi said Sata’s talk about the oil scandal would end up implicating Chiluba.
“Sata should not discuss these matters because the oil scandal, that’s Chiluba’s major scandal, it’s the Total business issue. The oil scandal is entirely before Chiluba’s feet, it ends there. The Total contract was initiated, fully backed, implemented and procured by no other than Sata’s supporter Frederick Chiluba. He should leave Chiluba out of this because this won’t help him,” Nawakwi said.
“In fact, Sata should know that the story of missing oil tankers was during the period 1999 to 2001, by that time I had even left the Ministry of Energy and I was at the Ministry of Labour. It was also way back when I had left the Ministry of Finance as well. This was at the hype of the Congo DR conflict.” She said Sata was welcome to commence investigations. “He should begin to analyse who was the chairperson of the Zambia National Oil Company (ZNOC) that time and he would realise that it was not Edith Nawakwi,” she said. Nawakwi reiterated that she had absolutely nothing to do with the oil scandal.
“I have even stated this in the past. In fact, one of the reasons I was transferred from the Ministry of Finance by Chiluba is that I refused to sign a statutory instrument authorising Total to have exclusivity on the importation of oil,” Nawakwi said. “But the president through his special assistant for economic affairs came and instructed me that I should do it. And I wrote Chiluba a memo telling him that I had signed the statutory instrument as he had instructed me to and he called me to State House and said that I was rude.”
She said Chiluba’s legacy is riddled with doing business with individuals and not institutions.
“They were procuring oil from State House and Donald Chanda was the chairman. We want Chiluba to recover, these matters should not be brought back to some of us who diligently executed our duties,” Nawakwi said. “I don’t think Sata is genuinely with Chiluba because if he was, he can’t be discussing these issues that will implicate his supporter.”
Nawakwi advised Sata to sympathise with Chiluba and not to revive the discussion.
“Sata should not bring in Chiluba. Chiluba has already supported him, if he has to win, let him just win but he should also allow Chiluba to rest. He is sick,” she said.
Nawakwi warned that someone would pay dearly if they thought they could ascend to power by dragging her name in their campaigns. “Even Chiluba himself when he came back from hospital in South Africa, the only name he found appropriate to talk about at the airport was Edith Nawakwi. Someone between Sata and Chiluba will pay dearly,” Nawakwi said. “Sata can’t think of anything to stimulate his voters other than the name of Edith Nawakwi.
He thinks the name of Nawakwi will secure him votes. The UDA candidate is HH, Edith Nawakwi is not even contesting as a member of parliament or councillor, so why is he talking about me? Why can’t they dissect the UDA manifesto instead of attacking me, an innocent UDA supporter? Please preserve yourselves for my turn. My turn will come, so they should not wear themselves out.”
Nawakwi said she had survived the prosecution on plunder of national resources because she was not part of Chiluba’s inner circle. “I was not Chiluba’s confidant. Have you ever seen me escorting him to court? I have never been jointly charged with Chiluba on any of his charges. I have challenged everybody including the government to arrest me and they haven’t arrested me. Let them come and pick me up if at all I did anything wrong,” she said.
Nawakwi said Sata’s campaigns were flat and lacked seriousness. “I am appealing to Zambians not to vote for this man because he can cause religious strife. He is a person who has no regard for other religions,” Nawakwi said.
Nawakwi said Sata should tell the nation what happened to the K2 billion meant for the MMD convention.
Addressing a rally in Petauke, Sata said if ushered in government, he would investigate the Carlington maize scandal including the purchase of fuel tankers that damaged people’s vehicles at the time Nawakwi was energy minister.
Copyright: ©2006 The Post (Lusaka)