THE Esther Lungu Foundation Trust (ELFT) has distanced itself from politics and urged Rainbow Party secretary general Wynter Kabimba to stop being petty by linking the organisation to such activities.

ELFT trustee Bernadette Deka charged that Mr Kabimba’s allegation that the Trust was linked to the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) was baseless as it was purely a charitable organisation.

Speaking in an interview yesterday, Ms Deka clarified that the K277, 546, 49 cheque donation by Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming’s wife to ELFT chairperson and founder Esther Lungu recently was not made to the First Lady’s office but to the Trust. “To link it (ELFT) to the Patriotic Front and politics is a mere fallacy and it just takes for a politician to rise and say that and it’s unfounded because every First Lady in every nation supports their husband during a campaign,” she said.

Ms Deka said the cheque donation in question was made to the Trust based on its objectives, thematic and focus areas.

She observed that since the Trust was founded barely two years ago, it had helped several vulnerable people countrywide.

Ms Deka, therefore, said condemning such well-meaning initiatives was tantamount to depriving the vulnerable people of the much-needed support towards girl education, cervical cancer and child mortality awareness, among other outreach activities. “Do you want to deprive the common Zambian of that? Do you know that when she (Ms Lungu) goes out for these outreaches how many people actually appreciate that they have never seen a First Lady in their lives? She has broken that barrier because she’s reaching out to every Zambian. “So as a well-meaning person, politician, I think you should first of all put the people’s welfare first before any funny thing. It’s extremely unethical for Mr Kabimba to say such a thing,” she said.

Ms Deka said she expected people of Mr Kabimba’s calibre to understand diplomatic tenets as internationally diplomats’ spouses donated to charitable organisations and thus there was nothing corrupt or unethical about Mr Yang’s wife’s gesture.

Ms Deka was reacting to a letter Mr Kabimba wrote to Mr Yang demanding that his wife’s cheque donation to the Trust on April 4, 2017 be withdrawn immediately as it was tantamount to corruption and against diplomatic practices.

Mr Kabimba further accused the Chinese Embassy of meddling in Zambian politics as the donation was equivalent to funding the PF as Ms Lungu was allegedly a principal and active campaigner of that party.


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