It would not be shocking to confirm that former vice presidents Enoch Kavindele and Nevers Mumba are receiving monthly payments for being named “special envoys” of President Hakainde Hichilema.

What would be shocking is that President Hichilema could insert these two on the government monthly payroll without such outside-establishment roles being put through a parliamentary approval process.

President Hichilema no doubt understands this fact. He understands too that the use of the term “special envoy” is a clever way to circumvent the need for parliamentary approval. However, it is also worth noting that in Zambia, special envoys are part time and hired for a specific assignment.

But Hichilema can not sidestep the issue of source of funds. That is why it is necessary for the government to explain quickly which vote of the budget is being used to effect payments to these special envoys, said to also include Guy Scott and Inonge Wina.

If the matter of the source of public funds for this project is not explained, civil servants involved in processing these payments should brace themselves for what could be Zamtrop II, over which some former senior public officers were jailed. What Hichilema is doing is exactly what landed Late President Chiluba in problems.

To avoid all this, President Hichilema should simply push a law giving benefits to all the countries former leaders, in the same manner days for National mourning are accorded them on their demise. We have a number of them notable among them, Lilly Monze, Vernon Mwaanga, Rabinson Chongo, Petronellla Kawandami Chisanga, General Kingsley Chinkuli and many others. His current way smacks of just being a selective manner for him to buy political support. What President Hichilema is doing is tantamount to using public resources for his personal benefit. He is using government money to buy and pay for Praise Singers to continue singing for him.

By far the most vocal have been Nevers Mumba and Enock Kavindele, whose loud praises have betrayed the fact that this is a Hichilema’s scheme to boost his public support.

Both Kavindele and Mumba were fired by late President Levy Mwanawasa. Can they then be deemed to have even completed their service? Enock Kavindele was Vice President to Fredrick Chiluba after the failed third term bid. Fredrick Chiluba later on campaigned for Late President Levy Mwanawasa until he won the 2001 elections. When Levy became Republican President, he continued with Kavindele as Vice President until Kavindele was fired. Kavindele himself knows the reasons. Hakainde Hichilema now President should know why Kavindele was fired.

After the dismissal of Kavindele, Levy Mwanawasa appointed Nevers Mumba whom he also later fired for among other reasons insubordination.

Nevers Mumba got the VP position by auctioning the National Citizens Coalition (NCC) which he had just changed from National Christian Coalition before selling it to the highest bidder.. With the kind of praises he has been heaping on Hichilema, Mumba could be preparing to do a similar thing to the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) faction he leads. Auction it for his own benefit.

Kavindele, on the other hand, will go to whoever promises to help him do his North West Railway project. Under the Movement for Multiparty Democracy ( MMD) and Patrioitic Front ( PF) government, Kavindele tried everything possible to bring government on board but he had no enough funds to be guaranteed by the Government of Zambia to borrow.

What Kavindele wanted was to get a government assurance that the railway line would be profitable then use that document to borrow. However, the would be lenders insisted that he also puts his own money on the table. He failed to do so. May be Hichilema has promised to lend him some money.

Kavindele is no longer a wealth man. He is broke. He is just remaining with his name, big house and a Rolex.

It is worth noting that both Kavindele and Mumba became popular and easy to be recognised in politics because they had monopoly in whatever they were doing.

Nevers Mumba was one of the few who preached the ” gospel of prosperity” through Pentecostalism. Kavindele had unique companies that dealt with ZCCM like KB Davis.

When more Pastors preaching similar messages like those of Nevers Mumba came on the scene, Mumba’s influence started fading. Same with Kavindele. When business competitors appeared on the market, Kavindele’s fortunes started dwindling. Both Nevers Mumba and Enock Kavindele are pieces of SCRAP METAL wanting to survive on government coffers.

Kavindele has declared that Hichilema is doing a fantastic job, despite all the daily evidence to the contrary: crippling high cost of living, mismanagement of national strategic maize stocks resulting in compromising of national food security, worst exchange rate in history, murky deals over country’s mining assets, crass tribalism, and the most repressive political environment comparable to the days of one party system.

A very good example of this political oppression is the warning by Zambia Police Spokesperson Rae Hamoonga, that former President Edgar Lungu should not venture into any public place, such as a market or central business district because he will be breaking the law!

This was after former President Lungu took a walk through part of Lusaka CBD and some markets to check how Zambian traders are coping with the shrinking economy, and to encourage people to buy from local businesses to help them sustain their activities.

Former President Lungu as a Zambian citizen should be free to move wherever he wishes. The government, however, wants to restrict him because wherever he goes people are complaining about the high cost of living.

It is even shameful for Hichilema to allow the Police to issue such threats against Egdar Lungu when in 2018 he took a similar tour of the Central Business District ( CBD) of Lusaka.

Worse still, can one compare Edgar Lungu’s walk in the Lusaka CBD with Hichilema’s Motorcade racing against then President Edgar Lungu’s in Limulunga Western Province a stance that led to his arrest?

Hakainde Hichilema and his Graphael Musamba’s Police should not think that every Zambian is a fool.

Who committed a crime between Edagr Lungu who was exercising his rights and Hichilema who endangered the life of a sitting President? Who does Hichilema think he is? Did he drop from Pluto or Jupiter for him to be treated differently?

Kavindele also knows that any sitting President responsible for harsh living conditions in a country can not be said to be doing a fantastic job. Kavindele’s claim, therefore, suggests that he is receiving some kind of benefit!

And in the current form any such benefit could be resulting from abuse of state funds by the Head of State and everyone involved should be prepared to face the consequences when the appointed time finally arrives.

They say the ” Wheels of Justice are slow” but they will surely come.

Which budget allocation is Hichilema using to feed Kavindele and Mumba?

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