By Staff Reporter

Operation Young Vote executive director Guess Nyirenda has challenged government to explain Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) presidential aspirant Moise Katumbi’s status in Zambia.

And opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) secretary general Mwenya Musenge has challenged the Ministry of Home Affairs to explain how Congolese politician Moise Katumbi has allegedly been issued with a Zambian Diplomatic passport.

Commenting on a video thaty has gone viral on social media in which Katumbi is alleged to have been accorded presidential security when he recently attempted to cross into DRC, Nyirenda said government had an obligations to explain to the Zambian people under what condition Katumbi was living in Zambia.

It is quite astounding that on one hand the Patriotic Front (PF) government introduced austerity measure as a way of cutting on unnecessary spending to save resources/money for the pressing, needy and critical areas among many reasons. On the other hand we unfortunately are treated to continued unwarranted misuse, abuse and misapplication of the Zambian tax payers’ money,” said Nyirenda. “There are many alleged unexplained expenditures that the Government has continued to make and/or incur at the expense of provision of basic needs for the majority citizens. One case in point is the alleged offering of the Zambian security (protection and escort) in terms of personnel and other logistics such as vehicles to Moise Katumbi.”

Nyirenda said Katumbi’s stay in Zambia had raised a lot of dust and questions among Zambians.

“If indeed this alleged exercise is true as evidenced in the video that has gone viral, we at OYV on behalf of the many rightful thinking and objective Zambians and indeed on our own behalf have the following questions:  Was the alleged offering of Zambia’s security and other logistics to Moise Katumbi a pressing and needy issue and what benefits does Zambia as a country derive from this undertaking? At whose expense and budget/cost to was this exercise conducted? Who allowed the abuse of our security in such a manner and why?” asked Nyirenda. “Why should Zambians be asked to tighten their belts due to the so called austerity measures while foreign nationals enjoy our save resources and abuse our same workers (men) in uniform who are sacrificing their moneys and risking their lives for such abuse. What is the meaning the use of our national security personnel visa vie our sovereignty and international relations with the government of the Republic of Congo (DRC); Why is there silence from the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Head of State on such matters that may be putting our country at risk of being a target for war? These and many questions are lingering in citizens’ minds. It would be very helpful and indeed desirable for the Government of the Republic of Zambia to come out clean and explain to the nation the meaning of this issue.”

Nyirenda said it would be naïve on the part of government leaders to think of brushing this matter under the carpet if indeed the allegations were true.

“As such a matter cannot and will not allow it to die a natural death by responsible citizens and stakeholders.  We at OYV, therefore demand that the leaders of this nation if they are responsible enough to be brave enough to face the citizens and reveal everything about this suspicious undertaking as it is a total opposite of austerity measures meant to save money. There is literally no choice but to explain this ordeal to Zambians,” said Nyirenda.

Musenge asked government to urgently clarify allegation of Katumbi having been accorded a diplomatic passport which had also gone viral on social media.

Musenga said government decision to accord Katumbi a diplomatic passport if true, had the potential to compromise National peace and security.

“If indeed, it is true that Mr. Katumbi is the holder of passport number.. we want to know how he got the said documentation. As a party, we shall not gloss over this matter until those who issued the said passport are brought to book,” said Musenge. “As a party, we have nothing personal against Moise Katumbi as an individual. We as NDC have commented on this matter because it raises a lot of questions that require urgent answers.”

Musenge charged that Zambia should not and shall never be used as a safe haven for foreigners.

“If Mr. Katumbi indeed holds a Zambian passport, we wonder how many other foreigners such as Chinese have Zambian passports. If Mr. Katumbi has a Zambian passport, we demand for a clean up at the passport office,” said Musenge. “If Home Affairs Minister Steven Kampyongo has a hand in the issuance of this passport, we demand that he be fired by the appointing authority. The NDC demands that the authenticity of this matter be clarified by the Ministry of Home Affairs immediately.”

Musenge further demanded for a clarification from the Ministry of Home Affairs on how Katumbi was issued a Green National Registration Card NRC.

“The NDC is also appealing to the Congolese Government to clarify on the issue of dual citizenship in the DRC. We further wants the Congolese Government to assist Zambia with information if they are aware that Mr. Katumbi actually holds Zambian citizenship,” he said.

Musenge noted that Katumbi rose to prominence in the 1990s under the late Fredrick Chiluba regime under the name Moses Katumbi adding that he was Dr. Chiluba relative.

Musenge charged that Katumbi went further to claim that he was a relative to one of the royal highnesses in Luapula province.

After Dr. Fredrick Chiluba was arrested for corruption, Moses Katumbi unceremoniously left Zambia. He later appeared in DRC as Moise  Katumbi and became Governor for Katanga province.

“As a country, we may differ politically, but, we should not allow foreigners hijack and take over our country. We have only one Zambia and we as citizens should safeguard this country from any foreign emissaries and aggressors,” said Musenge said.

Recently People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti charged PF leaders were eating with Katumbi, hence their silence over his stay in Zambia.

 “We shall pay for our inconsistence as a country. We shall pay in the long run for being insensitive. It is not in the best interest of our country and our people for the government to take sides. But we have thrown all that to the wind. Remember it is about Zambia and not them (PF),” warned Mulongoti.

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