Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa says he will not use state funds to finance the operations of the ruling party. His statement comes in reaction to critics who say he will use government funds for party politics.

Mr. Mwanawasa said the party should work extra hard to mobilize its own resources for use during the campaigns, adding that public funds are meant for Zambia?s development.

Zambia?s deputy minister of information, Benny Tetamashimba, spoke with Voice of America reporter Peter Clottey.  He told Peter the following:

?President Mwanawasa, since he went to the State House ... has stood against the abuse of government property, finances, etc. What he meant was that he is not going to get government money and give it to his political party because he believes that a political party is not supposed to survive on money that belongs to the state. During the previous government era [UNIP] the whole political machinery was being paid from government coffers. And even [under] the ten years of MMD rule, there is what people called, 'You belong to the party and then you must benefit.' But for President Mwanawasa, because of his fight against corruption, he has vowed that he cannot take any Kwacha (Zambian currency) and put it into a political party because that money belongs to the Zambian people.?