Human rights defender Ngande Mwanajiti says there is nothing wrong to demand accountability from president Michael Sata’s wife if her operations involve public funds.
Sata’s wife Christine Kaseba runs a parallel ministry of health she and her supporters call ‘Ubutala bwa Bumi’
She has since diverted resources such as the Mobile Hospitals from the official ministry of health to her ‘Butala’.
The office of First lady is not officially recognized in Zambia but the PF parliament gave her K1.5 billion in the 2013 budget despite protests from good governance activists in Zambia.
But Mwanajiti says unless Dr Kaseba Sata uses private funds then the public would no right to raise issues on the usage.
“If the charity work by the first Lady is supported by private capital, then there ought to be no need to raise issue,” Mwanajiti said. ”If on the other hand, tax payers’ money is part of the charity, then, notwithstanding any explanation, the public will be justified to call for transparency and accountability in the work of the charity.”
On the other hand, former Ifyabukaye presenter but now working as minister of information for Zambia Mwansa Kapeya says the PF Government wishes to pay glowing tribute to the First Lady and calls on all well meaning Zambians to support her noble efforts in contributing to people’s wellbeing.
Kapeya said Government is surprised by the ‘unfounded and malicious criticism raised against the First Lady, Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata on her noble and charity work, and her meaningful contribution that she is making to the nation, as reported in some sections of the media.’
Kapeya said ‘Dr. Kaseba-Sata has taken up various health and poverty related issues as causes that she is championing. This is a hallmark of her supportive contributions to her husband, sector ministry and the nation at large.
‘Dr. Kaseba-Sata has also set up a charitable organisation called Ubutala bwa Bumi to help the underprivileged in society.’
But the former ifyabukaya presenter said nothing about accountability and diverting public resources from the ministry of health to the NGO run by the PF president’s wife, a partisan entity.