UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma says Cabinet collective responsibility does not extend to defending corruption.
In a statement today, Kakoma stated that schemes by the Patriotic Front officials to push out National Planning Minister Lucky Mulusa over his statement on fire tenders was a clear demonstration of a corruption engulfed PF leadership.
“It is actually an offence to hide a criminal offence. A minister is bound by collective responsibility if cabinet sat to deliberate and approve the acquisition of the fire engines corruptly. Did Cabinet, in the presence of Edgar Lungu approve the tender knowing full well that it was a scandal and a conduit for siphoning the country’s meagre resources? Why did President Edgar Lungu set up a tribunal to probe the purchase of the fire tenders if it was done with his knowledge and authority? Why should Lucky Mulusa be fired or resign for smelling a rotten rat over the purchase of the fire engines?” Kakoma asked.
“As UPND, we want Lucky Mulusa to tell the nation more about the wheelbarrows. If Mulusa is disciplined for exposing corruption, we will conclude that Edgar Lungu wants to shut up whoever is criticizing corrupt government contracts of any sort.”
He asked President Lungu not to silence critics.
“Just a few months ago Saviour Chishimba was summoned by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for questioning the Zambia-Malawi maize-gate scandal. We all know that Edgar Lungu is sitting on tax payers’ money and the public has the right to show concern on how their resources are being utilized. If Edgar Lungu and the PF are allergic to criticism, let them resign and allow those who believe in freedom of expression to take over. Firing those who are critical of the government is a sign of a corrupt and failed government. Edgar Lungu and the PF should not think we shall all be cowed down and allow plunderers to abuse our tax payers’ money,” stated Kakoma.
“As UPND, we find the idea by the PF senior officials and State House attacks on Lucky Mulusa over his description of the fire engines as wheelbarrows as unacceptable, undemocratic and retrogressive. Pf should allow citizens to freely discuss national issues without interference.”