Tourism and Arts Minister Ronald Chitotela has become the first sitting Cabinet Minister to pay back the government treasury, while Opposition Democratic Party President Harry Kalaba has become the first former Minister to pay back the treasury. This follows the court’s order for Cabinet Ministers, their Deputies and provincial Ministers that remained in office in 2016 after dissolution of Parliament to pay the salaries accrued, inclusive of their allowances.
Mr. Kalaba, who is former Foreign Affairs Minister, made a payment to the treasury today of K60, 434.88, according to bank deposit slips he shared with the media.
In an interview with Spring TV, Mr. Chitolela, who is also Pambashe area Member of Parliament, disclosed that he has paid the money in full to the treasury – slightly over K53, 000.
The two leaders are among the 64 Cabinet and Deputy Ministers the Constitutional Court ruled will pay back over K4.7 million to the treasury, which they earned as salaries and allowances during their illegal stay in Office.
In his address to the media, Mr. Kalaba expressed hope that the resources will be put to good use and not abused by selfish politicians.
He said that he has been willing to right the wrong by paying back the money and that he feels free now that the money has been returned to the Zambian people.
And Mr. Chitotela has encouraged all Ministers to respect the court’s decision, whether that decision favours them or not.
He stated that paying back is the right thing to do and he believes that other Ministers will definitely emulate the step taken by him.
Meanwhile, New Congress Party Leader Peter Chanda has commended the actions of the two leaders.