UNIP President Tilyenji Kaunda says the Anti-Corruption Commission must be sleeping on their job if they are unable to know when investigations are being conducted on senior government officials.
And Kaunda says it is not the duty of the President to give instructions to oversight institutions like ACC and the Police on who to investigate because he is also accountable to the same institutions for belonging to the party in power, which is also in charge of the country’s resources.
Commenting on the statement from ACC spokesperson Timothy Moono who said his office was not informed about the investigations against State House Press aide Amos Chansa, Kaunda told News Diggers! in an interview that the ACC was sleeping on its job.
“I can’t explain why our friends in the PF are behaving the way that they are behaving because for us when we were in government, there were no holy cows when it came to the Anti-Corruption Commission. If the ACC suspected you, they would call you for an interview and then discuss why you are doing what you are doing. But again that depends on the political will of the politicians from the party in government. You know corruption is very hard to prove because the only thing you see is that someone’s ownership of wealth exceeds their salaries but to prove it is extremely hard. If I as a leader sees my employee buying extravagant things when their salary is very low, I should be able to call them and say ‘my friend, my salary is greater than yours but how come your wealth is greater than mine? Let’s share your magic’ and if you can’t explain to me, I would show you the door but it’s not for me as President to start investigating you no, there is the police, there is Ant-Corruption Commission, let them prosecute people because that’s their job,” Kaunda said.
“There is a law in place to take people to task, they have got a fraud squad, they have got everything all the departments and it’s there job not mine to catch people who are breaking the law. I don’t come in at all as leader of a country or as a party in power. That’s why there are Courts and the Police, they don’t need to ask for permission from a President, when you commit a crime as a police officer you don’t need to come and say ‘Mr President uyu muntu acita vaso tifuna timugwile (this person has committed such a crime we want to arrest him) no! I will just have to arrest him if I have evidence and that’s how it works elsewhere. As a politician, I will not allow a fellow politician to steal, as long as I see that he has more wealth than he should, I would say my friend leave, we can’t allow for this kind of behaviour in our political party. So from the President to the sweeper, everyone must be clean.”
Kaunda who could not hide his disappointment said the Anti-Corruption Commission was sleeping on there job if they really did not know that the President’s Assistant was being investigated for corruption allegations.
“The Anti- Corruption Commission is supposed to do it’s job, beginning with the party in power because they are the ones who are in charge of the country’s resources. So they are the ones who should be watched and ACC should find and prosecute them. But if they are shackled then what can we say? If their hands are tied, what can we really say? That’s why it’s important that all these oversight institutions are monitored by Parliament and a President should have no business in all the judgments being made at the Courts. But if the ACC is really ignorant about the case of Amos Chanda then they are sleeping on their job because they have got a job description. If the public says this is happening they are supposed to investigate because that’s their job, they can’t tell us they are not aware that’s unacceptable,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kaunda said the oversight institutions in the country should not be appointed and monitored by the President because there would not be professionalism in the civil service.
“These people working in the security services shouldn’t even be seen by the President every now and then, they should not even be appointed by him. Let the judges be appointed and controlled by Parliament because that way, they will be able to make independent decisions. All these independent institutions, let Parliament take charge in terms of appointing. At the very least, as President I can say ‘I want this one’ but let Parliament approve. These friends of ours in PF have got a very powerful manifesto I have looked at it, fantastic policies but I have a challenge because I don’t see these things happening, they are not being implemented. We need a clean system in the civil service and for that to happen, there is need to have a civil service commission that is accountable to Parliament and to the President,” said Kaunda.
And Kaunda said the country was stuck at the moment because the people involved in corruption were too big.
“You can’t tell me that you have fired two accountants for misapplication of funds as reported by the Auditor General, no! Those are small fish and their corruption is nothing, we are interested in the big fish and since we don’t know who they are then we are stuck as a country,” said Kaunda.