Alliance for Community Action executive director Laura Miti says President Edgar Lungu was the worst candidate out of those who wanted to succeed Michael Sata.
And Zambia Council for Social Development Executive Director Lewis Mwape says it is illogical for President Lungu to demand corruption evidence from citizens when he is in a better position to access it.
Speaking when the duo featured on Radio Phoenix’ Let the People Talk today, Miti said President Lungu was the worst candidate because he wasn’t ready to the Head of State.
“Please, please whatever happens, do not be distracted. Because we are so easily distracted, we voted in someone, and I keep saying it that we voted in someone who was not ready to become President. Of the people that Edgar Lungu stood against in PF, there were better people there. But this ability to bully people into silence, they chose the worst of the eleven. And then after that, he came in and he became President, he is absolutely failing us, he is running this country into the ground. Nobody asks questions because we have been frightened. Let us not be frightened, this is our own people,” Miti said.
She charged that the current government was in power just to make money.
“This is the first time there has been such personal viciousness I must say, I’ve never experienced consequences [for protesting], why now? The reason is because probably we have touched a nerve. The reason why subsequent governments have been in office was say ‘to use public space to develop private wealth.’ For the first time they are beginning to think ‘wow! This cash-cow!’ Someone is beginning to touch the space that is important to us. They don’t come into power for us, they come into power to make money. So right now I think the anger is that we are beginning to touch the white space that is important to them. And I am saying, do not be obstructed, let me fight this bully and while they are fighting me, please keep asking about the 42 for 42, about the selling of NRDC, ask about the budget,” Miti said.
Miti asked government not to pressurize whistleblowers because they would end up manufacturing evidence.
“It is government that has started this narrative of citizens being the ones to provide evidence and you have seen people try, I mean you have seen maybe Saviour Chishimba coming out to say ‘I have got this, I have that’ but the truth is that unless government is transparent and opens up these systems to scrutiny, government will always say they are lying. The evidence is in the hands of government. We need to insist that the systems that is in the institutions whose mandate is to investigate, should do their job and they should do it in such a way that it is transparent. The 42 for 42 should have an audit. The Auditor General should actually carryout that audit,” said Miti.
“The Auditor General’s report should actually have come out by the end of September. What has happened to it because am beginning to think that it has been embargoed or maybe it has got more information to it. But it is issues like that where the institutions and the time line of democracy is easily ignored. Why hasn’t the Auditor General’s report come out? The Auditor General’s office itself is able to carry out a forensic audit on the 42 for 42. So let’s not put pressure on those who are asking to provide the evidence because I will be making it up, where will I get it? I will get it sent to me in my inbox, that is not valid evidence. We should insist that government opens itself up to scrutiny.”
And Mwape observed that if President Lungu was serious about the fight against corruption, he would access the evidence needed to prosecute those found wanting.
“The President has so much power to be more accountable and also foster accountability. So being the person that has so much power given to him constitutionally, he is the one who is suppose to lead, he is suppose to be the first man whistle blower. So once we get it from the Head of State, it means that all the systems will begin to be aligned in a more transparent and accountable way. So we are demanding from the President to lead the anti corruption campaign and not the citizens. You can’t ask the citizens to provide evidence when you as the President who calls the ACC Director General everyday cannot have that evidence, cannot give that evidence. Then who is Saviour Chishima or Chishimba Kambwili to give all such evidence?” Mwape asked.
He said that the attacks on citizens who demanded accountability were a clear indication that government was shielding itself from corruption allegations.
“The attacks that we are receiving is as a result of a corrupt system. The corrupt system thinks that the way they act, the way they pay for the crowd for people to follow them, these cadres that we see being paraded, they are always paid because they have the money…So now whoever asks a question is an enemy of government. If people are not ready for being occupying political offices, I think they better leave quickly. You shouldn’t use archaic laws to say no ‘the President has been defamed’. Even when somebody says ‘Lungu’ I was just saying that now it looks like every Lungu is a President in this country. So if you say Lungu it means you have defamed the President. Even when am calling my colleague Lungu Phiri, they say you have no respect which is unfortunate,” said Mwape.