National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili says the real plunderers of public funds cannot be fired or arrested because they bath in charms day and night to cover up their offences.
And Kambwili says last week’s arrest of members of the clergy along with Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) officials in Ndola is an indication from God that the Church should wake up and mobilise its members to challenge government.
Commenting on the ongoing dismissals of civil servants for theft of public resources, Kambwili, the former chief government spokesperson, argued that it did not make any difference if government fired junior officers because the biggest thieves were still in the system.
He alleged that they bathe themselves in charms to cover up their crimes.
“The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) has mentioned ministers who have been involved in corrupt activities, and anybody is able to see that these ministers have become rich within the last two years that they have been in government. Even some people at State House have become very rich! Owning properties that are not commensurate with their earnings, but none of them has been fired. So, the fight against corruption should not be targeted at junior officers; we want the big fishes to be booted out! It’s hypocrisy of the worst kind to try and show that you are fighting corruption when you are leaving yourselves, who are the major plunderers. We know the people who are the real plunderers in this nation. So, they should not pretend by taking action against civil servants who have done misapplication or misappropriation of funds. In any case, misapplication or misappropriation is just using funds for purposes, which they are not intended for,” Kambwili told News Diggers! in an interview.
“But politicians are becoming stinking rich! And the President knows about it. Some of these politicians we know that they use juju so that they cannot be fired. They carry juju on their bodies. Nga mwabanunsha banukafye ifimuti, ifimishila. Chilabushiku kusamba imishila! (Some of these Ministers bathe in charms every day, every time they bath in roots so that they are not caught for stealing!) They are plunderers who cannot be arrested, plunderers who are openly boasting that they are so rich and that now they can rule the country because of their riches. They are left out and they just want to be dealing with junior officers. But the day for reckoning will come. How can the Ministry honestly lose money without the Permanent Secretary knowing? Because Permanent Secretaries are controlling officers. So, if that’s the case, then the Permanent Secretaries are incompetent!”
He wondered why National Development Planning Minister Alexander Chiteme was giving government’s position on the matter when he was not the designated Chief Government Spokesperson.
“Is Chiteme the Government Spokesperson? What has planning got to do with resources? That’s why this government is a ‘Chipantepante’ government. We want a statement from the Minister of Finance or the Chief Government Spokesperson. Why should it be the Minster of Planning to talk about theft of public funds? We want an official statement from the Minister of Finance or the Minister of Information. It’s not just anybody who should be talking in this government. The real thieves are walking the streets! Those real thieves, if they are taken to court today in the morning, by mid-day they will be convicted. So, why are we wasting time on small fish when the big fish are walking the streets freely? What has happened to the people who bought fire engines at US $1 million each? Nothing! We want them to deal with the theft in the purchase of fire engines. We want to see the arrest of people that received vehicles as gratification. Why are you avoiding to arrest them? We want people who have built property around Lusaka [and] all over the world, which they all know, but they are not being arrested. When they went into government, when they went into State House, they were poor people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kambwili appealed to the Church to organise itself and rise against the PF government for the injustice they were suffering.
“Now, we have started arresting pastors and civil society for just analysing the budget? I want to tell Mrs Katanga, the Copperbelt Police Chief, that you are being used. But God will punish you. And when the hour of reckoning comes, don’t cry foul,” warned Kambwili.