Patriots for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo says President Edgar Lungu must disclose how much he has earned through international and local travel allowances so that Zambians can audit his lifestyle and deduce its benefit, if any, to the country.
In a statement today, Tembo also stated that failure to disclose his earnings would give credence to corruption allegations against him.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP), we would like to appeal to the Republican President Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to disclose to the nation the total amount of money that he has earned this year through various allowances such as international travel and local travel etc. Such a disclosure by the President of the total allowances that he has earned would serve three very important purposes; Firstly, it will allow the citizens to know the total amount of remuneration that the President earns, given that the law already requires full disclosure of the Presidential basic salary which is in the public domain, there is no reason why the presidential allowances should be kept secret. Such disclosure will assist us, members of the public, to determine the total remuneration earned by the President so that we can do a lifestyle audit on the President and put to rest the allegations that have been raised by certain quarters of society that the President is building structures around Lusaka at an alarming rate. It must be noted, country men and women, that should the President decide to refuse to publicly disclose the amount of money that he has earned in 2017 from various allowances, then he must not condemn anyone that might accuse him of corruptly acquiring real estate property around Lusaka because he would have deliberately lost the opportunity to put matters into perspective and exonerate himself,” Tembo stated.
“Secondly, such full and complete disclosure of the various allowances earned by the President would allow the citizens of this Republic to do a cost – benefit analysis of the Presidential trips by comparing the cost to the taxpayer versus the perceived benefits. There has been an uproar by some members of society in the recent past that the President has been making numerous trips abroad specifically for the purpose of earning allowances for himself. Such full disclosure would help to put matters into perspective.”
He stated that it was in President Lungu’s best interests to disclose his earnings.
“Thirdly, given that we were recently commemorating the anti-corruption day, such full and complete disclosure of allowances earned by the President during the year would be a great stroke of transparency by the President. It is worth noting that transparency is the bedrock of the fight against corruption. As Patriots for Economic Progress, we look forward to the President’s response to our this appeal for him to disclose the total amount of money that he has earned from various allowances during the year. We are aware that the President is in the habit of ignoring the various appeals that we make to him from time to time, on different matters, in the hope that the matter will eventually go away on its own. However we are hopeful that the President will respond to this particular appeal, for the simple reason that it is in his best interests to do so. As previously indicated, should the President fail to make the required disclosures as requested, then he must in future not condemn anyone that might accuse him of being corrupt, regardless of whether such accusations are justified or not,” stated Tembo.