Political commentator Macdonald Chipenzi has challenged President Edgar Lungu to produce evidence of corruption against Chishimba Kambwili and other ministers whom he accused of being corrupt.
And Chipenzi says it is disappointing for justice minister Given Lubinda to petition the ACC to be summoning whistleblowers.
Recently, President Lungu challenged those with evidence of corruption against any of his ministers to produce evidence.
But in a statement sent to News Diggers! yesterday, Chipenzi challenged President Lungu to also produce evidence against Kambwili whom he allegedly fired based on corruption allegations.
“This time we expected that a commission of inquiry would have been instituted by the President. There is nothing for people to say ‘give evidence’ and yet the same people are refusing to institute a commission of inquiry. What an ironic approach to issues, when Kambwili was fired, they said there was evidence, can the President produce evidence to prove that Kambwili was corrupt when he was fired or,” Chipenzi said.
“So, this Animal Farm way of operating by the President is really hurting and undermining Zambia’s credibility in the fight against corruption.”
And Chipenzi said he was disappointed by Lubinda’s statement.
Debating a motion to ratify the new Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Director General Zacharia Phiri on Thursday, Lubinda challenged him to subpoena anyone who accused or condemned others of corruption.
“There are people who continuously accuse others of corruption. I want to challenge Mr Phiri and the Anti Corruption Commission that those who have this appetite of condemning and accusing others of corruption must be subpoenaed by the anti corruption commission and let them make reports on oath because the Anti Corruption Commission Act is very clear,” Lubinda said.
He said it was of no use accusing each other of corruption when accusers were not willing to pursue the matter in court.
“Those who accuse others of corruption without sufficient evidence must also be brought to book. It is no use for others to continue accusing each other and condemning ourselves when we are not willing to pursue the matter before the enforcement agency. You cannot actually blame the baker when you are not fueling the oven. You must also put energy in the oven. If you don’t put energy in the oven, don’t blame the baker. If you don’t give the Anti Corruption Commission sufficient latitude of all the information they require to arrest corruption, don’t condemn them,” said Lubinda.
But Chipenzi, a former FODEP executive director, stated that Lubinda’s statement was in bad taste.
“I am disappointed by the utterances from the Minister of Justice that the Anti- Corruption Commission should start summoning those who are alleging that some people, ministers and companies are involved in corruption. This statement is in very bad taste especially coming from somebody who was an ardent fighter of corruption. I don’t know what has become of this government and what has become of men and women of integrity who used to fight corruption with their soul, blood and their emotions. Today they have become more and more less like they are not seeing what is happening. ACC must be compelled to follow these allegations, it is a very sad state of affairs where everything starts and ends at State House, everything starts and ends with ministers,” said Chipenzi.
“Somebody has come and said some minister got three vehicles on bribe yet the Minister of Justice says ‘can the anti-corruption summon the person who has alleged’, why not following up the person who has received those three vehicles? Surely, we need to do more and we need to issue statements that give encouragement to the fight against corruption. Now that there is a new ACC director general, my hope is that this person will be so emotionally attached in the fight against corruption. Corruption had undermined our development and proper provision of services such as health and education.”