Rejected former Solwezi East member of parliament Richard Taima has admitted owing a government agency, the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), huge sums of money but denies the debt influenced his decision to quit the opposition Movement for Multi-Party Democracy for the ruling Patriotic Front leading to a by-election in North Western Province.
Taima after being threatened with litigation over the loan he obtained quit the MMD to join PF but was shocked not to be adopted to contest the July 25 by-election his defection prompted.
The ruling PF has adopted Peter Ilunga, the 2011 losing candidate on their ticket, who had petitioned and won the case at High Court although Taima appealed to the Supreme Court but strangely believes the decision of the higher court may not go his away.
Featuring on Crossfire Blogtalk Radio, an internet-based radio hosted in the United Kingdom, Taima said he owed the CEEC and invested the proceeds of the loan into the hospitality industry in Solwezi.
He said those suggesting he quit the MMD because of the loan were individuals bent on a malicious campaign to injure his status.
“To owe anyone money is not a crime. I borrowed from CEEC. The money I owe was borrowed for right reasons and I am proud I owe. I took my investment where I come from where I have an ultra modern lodge,” he said.
“I borrowed from CEEC. It has nothing with my political decision. It constitutes 70 to 75% investment. I will pay over a period. Individuals and companies owe, as long as it is for right reasons.”
Taima claimed he could not be considered for adoption by the PF because he was advised that he was ineligible under the electoral code since his election was nullified in the High Court but its final outcome was dependent on the Supreme Court.
Although the Supreme Court had until his resignation from the MMD not decided the appeal, he strangely claimed his opponent had a systematic case that was against him and he stood no chance in the higher court
He said his donation of hammer mills under a government programme seemed to work against him in the election petition.
Taima attempted to explain his ineligibility for adoption but failed to present a convincing argument during the programme considering that his colleagues who had lost election petitions had gone ahead and re-contested their seats.