President Edgar Lungu’s wife, Esther, has rejected timely advice to stop abusing public funds on her campaigns for her husband.
Ester Lungu says she will not sit idly by in State House because, according to her, she is the mother of Zambia.
Mrs Lungu said this over the weekend in Itezhi-Tezhi where she went, using helicopters and other government facilities, to meet traditional leaders and women belonging to different clubs.
Last week, the NGOCC and FDD leader Edith Nawakwi seperately advised Mrs Lungu to stop abusing public funds in her national tours.
The NGOCC said:
- In the absence of a clear legal framework, we advise the First Lady to desist from engaging in partisan activities that will bring misunderstanding by other players. The First Lady is the figurehead ‘Mother of the Nation’ who must not be dragged in divisive partisan political activities.
- It is unclear where the First Lady is drawing the resources she is using especially with the much publicized donations. We also note that the First Lady’s entourage includes public service workers, who, essentially, pose a cost implication on government coffers. Therefore Cabinet Office must come out clear and inform the Zambian people which budgetary allocation Madam Lungu is using in terms of the donations she is making as well as logistical support for the trips. This will not only enhance transparency and accountability but will also protect the First Lady;
- The office of the First Lady is not constitutional and therefore must not be party to National Treasury resource appropriation. In as long as the sources of resources are not publicly disclosed, the Zambian citizenry will continue speculating and this may hamper the effective role that the office of the First Lady should be playing in harnessing peace and well-being in the country.