And Zambian Breweries and Huawei have withdrawn their support to the Kayula Childhood Cancer Foundation (KCCF) forthwith without giving tangible reasons.
But sources at State House disclosed that Mwanakatwe left the board of KCCF following Mulenga Sata’s decision to resign as minister to join the UPND.
KCCF is named after Mulenga’s daughter who died of cancer a few years ago.
In an interview, Mwanakatwe, who has applied to contest the Lusaka Central Constituency seat on the PF ticket, claimed that her resignation as chairperson of the KCCF had nothing to do with Mulenga’s political move.
“Yes, it’s true that I have resigned as KCCF chairperson because of pressure of work. As you know, I am contesting the Lusaka Central seat and I still have a job as a minister. The KCCF is a vital institution that requires a lot of time and so if I could not delegate, the best was to put my hands up,” said Mwanakatwe when asked whether her decision was based on Mulenga’s departure from the PF to join the UPND.
She also claimed not to be aware of Zambia Breweries and Huawei’s withdrawal of support to the KCCF.
“I am not even aware that Zambian Breweries and Huawei have withdrawn their support to the KCCF,” said Mwanakatwe.
But a source at State House said Zambian Breweries and Huawei were ordered to stop supporting the KCCF because of Mulenga’s decision to join the opposition UPND.
“Even Mwanakatwe, she was asked to resign as chairperson of the KCCF because it’s run by Mulenga. Hwawei was to give K150,000 to the KCCF but all of a sudden, the company just said it had withdrawn its support to the foundation. The same was the case with Zambian Breweries, which has been a big sponsor to the foundation,” said the source. “It’s a fact that Mulenga’s departure shocked and annoyed President Edgar Lungu, that’s why there are all these hostilities against him.”
When contacted to comment on the withdrawal of support by the two companies, Mulenga expressed shock.
“I am not aware of that decision but if it’s true, then it’s sad because the KCCF is meant to assist children suffering from cancer; it’s for a noble cause for society,” said Mulenga.
Meanwhile, acting KCCF chairperson Kalizya Zimba said children who undergo chemotherapy could end up losing all their good cells which were their defence mechanism in their bodies following the withdrawal of funding to the institution.
Speaking at a fundraising gala night for the KCCF in Lusaka on Saturday, Zimba said they were looking after more than 300 children and appealed to well-wishers to support the foundation financially or materially.
“We have 300 children and there are a lot of needs; simple things like the salaries for the house keepers, the gardener and the security as well as for the doctors and transportation for the children to move from home to the hospital. We also need to have cleaning agents because when children undergo chemotherapy, they end up losing all their good cells which are their defence mechanism. So we need to keep them in a clean environment and that is a cost too,” said Zimba.
“You don’t have to have a lot of money for you to sponsor us; even a K100 will go a long way.”
At the same occasion, 12-year-old KCCF ambassador Tabitha Tukombe thanked the sponsors for their contribution towards the foundation’s programmes.