Vice-President Inonge Wina must always remembers that she is answerable to the Zambian people who elected her into office and not the President, says Civil Society Constitutional Agenda.

At a media briefing yesterday, CiSCA deputy chairperson Pamela Chisanga observed that the Vice-President was acting as if she did not have security of tenure.

“We call on Vice-President Inonge Wina to stop behaving as if she came into office under the old constitution under which the Vice-President was an appointee of the President. Mrs Wina was elected in her own right and is answerable to the people of Zambia, and not to the President or the ruling party, which currently appears to be the case. As leader of Government business in Parliament, the Vice President has an obligation to defend the Constitution. If she is finding this responsibility too hard for her, then she must resign,” Chisanga said.

Chisanga further called on President Lungu to facilitate action against those cited in the Auditor General’s report, saying the evidence the Head of State was looking for over theft and corruption in the civil service, was all tabulated in the document.

“As a movement, we will also petition the Anti-Corruption Commission to take action against those cited in the Auditor General’s report. We will also petition Parliament to enact relevant legislation. CiSCA is deeply concerned at the increased levels of abuse and misuse of public resources by public office bearers. For this reason, we are demanding for the arrest and prosecution of controlling officers and civil servants involved in the misapplication, abuse and the blatant theft of public resources as reported in the Auditor General’s Report of 2016. Not long ago, President Edgar Lungu challenged Zambian citizens to provide evidence for abuse of public resources in order for him to facilitate arrests and prosecution of those involved. The Auditor General’s report has presented the evidence. Now, we expect action from the Head of State and law enforcement agencies. Abuse of public resources has become an accepted norm under the PF as no punitive measures are taken against these illegalities,” she said.

“How can anyone ignore misapplied public funds skyrocketing by close to 500 percent from K28, 153,997 in 2015 to K162, 095,699 in 2016? This money could have been channeled towards other productive public sectors. Given the clear lack of political will by the Government to address this abuse, CiSCA is left with no option but to now consider public interest litigation against public service workers that are abusing public funds. It is high time that the country secured its meagre resources. We also demand that the Auditor General makes recommendations to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Anti-Corruption Commission for the prosecution of individuals who are cited in the AG’s report.”

Meanwhile CiSCA said President Lungu could no longer be trusted with the responsibility of safeguard the Constitution, considering his remarks against the Judiciary.

“We are also dismayed by President Lungu’s threats to the judiciary regarding the interpretation of the Constitution on whether he is eligible to stand again in 2021. His remarks potentially undermine the Constitution and the independence of the Judiciary. CiSCA expected President Lungu, who is not only a lawyer but also swore to respect, uphold and safeguard the Constitution and the rule of law, to respect as provided for under Article 91 of our constitution. CiSCA is concerned that President Lungu can no longer be trusted to safeguard our Constitution. CiSCA believes that this is what will cause chaos and lead to a constitutional crisis, as opposed to the interpretation of the Constitution by the judges on whether or not he is eligible to stand again in 2021. We would like to remind the President that the over 15 million Zambians will not sacrifice the country for one individual,” said Chisanga.

She added: “The conduct of our police service is highly unprofessional and partisan beyond any question. Although the police are supposed to be a service, their conduct is far from that. We recently heard the Deputy Inspector General of Police issuing a warning to people not to misuse the dialogue process to commit crimes. While we appreciate the Police warning, we question their lack of sincerity as we have seen political carders from the ruling PF breaking the law and getting away with it in full view of the police. We have seen unqualified and unauthorised individuals taking over some streets, bus stations and markets. The police are doing nothing about it. So how can the police be warning citizens on an issue which is not a crime at all? This is not only unprofessional but a threat to peace and democracy.”