OP must not obey Lungu’s illegal orders – Chituwo

BRIGADIER General Dr Brian Chituwo says Intelligence chief Samuel Nkhoma should know that he is taking an illegal order from President Edgar Lungu to sign a PF contract with Timor Consulting and help the ruling party win elections.

But Nkhoma says he has not signed the contract with Timor Consulting, as directed by President Lungu, because his office is a public institution and not a political party wing.

President Lungu, through his press aide Amos Chanda, has written to Nkhoma, asking him to sign a contract with Timor Consulting, a private Israeli company, to help the PF win the general elections.

“I wish to inform you that His Excellency Mr Edgar C Lungu has authorised me to engage the above named firm [Timor Consulting] to provide consulting services for the 2016 general elections campaign. To guarantee the highest level of information management and integrity of the project, it is desirable that this contract is signed under your auspices,” stated Chanda in his letter dated October 9, 2015 which he signed.

But in an interview, Dr Chituwo, who is Mumbwa MMD member of parliament, said the Security Intelligence Services director general cannot be answerable to a political party.

“One thing that we need to be clear about is, who is contracting this Timor Consulting? Is it the government or the PF party? If it is PF, it means the PF is using an arm of government to abuse public resources in order to disadvantage others. That is definitely incorrect. It is wrong,”  Dr Chituwo said.

“In any case, the Office of the President is supposed to protect Zambians, and the security of Zambia as a whole; not a section of a party. This is something that needs to be looked at even by our colleagues, the lawyers. The Intelligence chief swore to protect the Constitution and his allegiance is to the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia and to the presidency. But he is supposed to obey a president who will act to also defend the Constitution. He is not answerable to the party. That directive is unlawful and he must refuse to take it.”

He said President Lungu’s directive was not a command made in the interest of the public.
“I was wondering what all this will lead to. I mean if that is the case, then it means that the President and the PF want to accept the will of the people. Really, it is very awkward. In my view, the President and the PF should be appealing to the people of Zambia to give them another mandate rather than to manipulate them,” Brig Gen Dr Chituwo said.

He challenged the PF secretary general to explain what PF wanted the OP to do with Timor Consulting.

“I have not heard a comment from Davies Chama, because he is the CEO of the party. He needs to explain further what this means…of course, we can read between the lines that at all cost, the President and the PF want to win the elections,” Brig Gen Dr Chituwo said.
“But that does not create a level playing field. Where does this whole thing leave the opposition? I think the opposition has to go out there and talk to the people, convince them that change must come now and that they are the agents of change.”

He said Zambians must vote out President Lungu in this year’s general elections.

“I think the opposition must now be able to ensure that during elections, the votes are not stolen, that there are no additional votes coming in illegally. I am appealing to all Zambians that time has come, they should be courageous enough to act for change, not to say ‘The devil you know is better than the angel you do not know’,” Brig Gen Dr Chituwo said.

“If they think that the change they made [last year] was inappropriate, that person can be voted out through the ballot. Let Zambians not be discouraged because it is possible to change government this year.”

When contacted, Nkhoma said he has never signed any contract with Timor Consulting.
Asked: “When did you (Office of the President) sign the contract with Timor consultants to help PF win the elections?” Nkhoma responded, “Madam, you are talking like you have facts that I signed the contract.”

When asked: “Are you saying that you did not sign the contract?” Nkhoma responded, “I have never signed any contract and I don’t even know about this Timor you are talking about.”

He said the Office of the President Special Division was not a political office.

“I believe you know the difference between this institution and a political party. This office is not a political party, it is a government institution. It is a public institution so I do not know what you are talking about…Let me make it very clear that this is a public institution, it is not a political party. If you want any clarification, I think that is a political issue which is not my part,” said Nkhoma.

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