People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti says cases of theft of public funds will continue increasing in the Auditor General’s Report every year because Zambia does not have leaders of integrity to superintend over its resources.

And Mulongoti says he decided to stay away the so-called National Day of Prayer yesterday because he would not have felt comfortable to start seeking God’s help over man-made problems.

Commenting on the recently-published Auditor General’s report, which has revealed a sharp rise in unaccounted for funds that has increased from K386,000 in 2016 to K31 million in 2017, and misappropriation of funds from K3 million in 2016 to K5 million in 2017, Mulongoti warned that things would only get worse under PF because the current leaders lacked integrity.

The latest Report of the Auditor General was on the Accounts of the Republic of Zambia for the financial year ended December 31, 2017.

“The reason is that when leadership is dishonest, the civil servants are watching what the leadership is doing and they are simply following suit. So, you can’t blame them. If they see a corrupt Minister, like what happened to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of General Education (Henry Tukombe), they are learning that all the top officials and politicians are thieves and because of that…I mean why didn’t they do that when Mwanawasa was there? It’s because Mwanawasa had integrity and the basis of integrity, everybody followed suit. When you [have] leadership that’s go no integrity, it cascades to everybody else. So, the challenge we have is that, who is going to set an example, because the culture of consequence can only be enforced by an upright leader. But if the leader is corrupt and he is a thief, how does he enforce the culture of consequence? Because soon as he does that, the person punished will turn around and say, ‘but you also doing the same things!’ So, it weakens your moral standing, and I think that’s the challenge that PF is facing,” Mulongoti told News Diggers! in an interview.

He advised that the best way out the current situation for the country was to find an interim arrangement where people of integrity got together to look at leadership potential and then clean up the whole system through an election.

“In the current circumstances, the current leadership is unfit to continue to superintend over the resources of this country. The solution is one, to find leadership of integrity; this cannot be done at once by going through the polls because if you go to elections with the same crooks who have amassed so much wealth, they will use the same money to bribe and pay people. The best thing is to find an interim arrangement where people of integrity must get together like we did in 1991 over MMD, get together and look at leadership potential, look at the challenges that are being faced, and on the basis of that, start a cleaning up process first,” Mulongoti argued.

“It’s not an election that will clean up the mess, first of all, it’s to clean up the process by ensuring that all the crooks and whatever are eliminated and those who need to be prosecuted are prosecuted. Once you’ve done that, then you can start afresh by saying, ‘let us go to elections so that people can have free and fair elections.’ You can’t have free and fair elections with people who have amassed so much wealth from corruption because they will use the same money to corrupt people, so that’s not the solution. We must first target all the criminals and clear them, once that is done, then we can have free and fair elections, and then we can have a decent government where people can work using honest behaviour and outcomes can then be predicted.”

And asked why he had decided to shun the National of Day of Prayers slated for October 18, Mulongoti said he did not want to be a hypocrite like those in PF.

“If you look at the subjects for the prayers, they are all man-made. So, I don’t think I will feel comfortable to go and ask God to help me sort out problems that we created ourselves; it’s a matter of hypocrisy. Honestly, how does God intervene in corruption? How does God intervene in police brutality? All these are issues that we don’t need to go to God for, we must do introspection ourselves and ask whether what we are doing is right and go to God and seek for forgiveness quietly on our own. Now, President Lungu is drunk 24 hours every day, is it possible for him to have communication with God in that manner? No! That’s hypocrisy,” said Mulongoti.

“Most of those guys going there (for the National Day of Prayers) are with hangovers, they will just be dosing the whole time they are there and their minds are elsewhere. No, I cannot be part of that. I know how to pray, I pray at home, I pray at church and that’s what’s most important. I even hear that Mr Lungu is threatening to dismiss civil servants who won’t attend the prayers. Mr Lungu made an instruction for all civil servants to go and pray, I think I heard this on the news, on ZNBC news. But come on! Do you have to force people to go and pray? No! But you see, PF have lost touch and they are now desperate, they are in panic and they think that by doing all those things, it’s going to help them. But now, time has caught up with them.”