Today we have criminals in the government because they have a Head of State who is also a criminal, says United Party for National Development (UPND) vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba.

And GBM says most thieving civil servants and government officials are from Eastern and Luapula provinces.

Last week, Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme charged that thieving civil servants were sponsored by the opposition, a remark which was reiterated by PF deputy media director Antonio Mwanza.

But in an interview, GBM said government workers and PF officials were not feeling guilty about stealing because President Lungu had already given them permission by saying “Uubomba mwibala alya mwibala” which suggests that one must eat from where he works.

“Well, I will tell you, those are the rantings of a weak government. As for this young boy Antonio Mwanza, I sympathise with him, and his end will be like the one for the Late John Chimba who was busy insulting PF. Those young boys in PF are now speaking with their bellies and not with their heads, which is so unfortunate. Honestly, how can you sponsor people to go and steal?” GBM asked.

“Stealing is something which is inborn. Stealing is something which we see, if my father was a criminal, then I will also be criminal. Today we have criminals in government because they have seen that even their Head of State is a criminal. He told them that ‘uubomba mwibala alya mwibala’, what does that mean? It means that he was the one actually who was telling them to steal. So what we are seeing today, in terms of levels of stealing and corruption in PF, it’s something which has been orchestrated by the Head of State. So I think what they are saying is just an excuse that we are so powerful and we can do that.”

And GBM said most thieving civil servants and government are from Eastern and Luapula provinces.

“But let me tell you, by nature, most people that we are dealing with are not criminals and they have no access to those public funds. If you look at the history of this country, most people who have been Presidents, are they from Southern Province? No! Mostly they are from my Province, from Luapula and from Eastern Province… these are the criminals that we’ve had in State House and they’ve been looting this Treasury. Even Antonio Mwanza as he is, I think he’s a criminal, that’s why he can afford to say what he says,” GBM charged.

“But in our party and our government, let me tell you, once our time comes, when the Zambian people give us the mandate, which is coming pretty soon, I can assure you that there will be no criminality in our government. We shall deal with criminals to the letter. There will be no corruption, we shall not allow it. And as you know, our head of the party Hakainde Hichilema has no criminal records but look at Edgar, he has a criminal mentality, he has a criminal record. He stole money for the widow. So I think what is happening in PF should not be extended to us, we are not criminals like them,” GBM said.

GBM further said the PF were using technicalities to escape their criminal offenses.

“Let me tell you, that kind of thinking by Chiteme and Antonio Mwanza is criminal. It can only come from a person who is criminally minded. They want to get away with their criminal activities by a technicality. You can see the way he was responding. Look, every document in a ministry is supposed to go under a Permanent Secretary, more especially when it involves public funds. Antonio Mwanza has never been in government, he’s just a hired gun, that’s why he can say that. Every document, every payment has to go through a Permanent Secretary. So what he was talking about I think it has no basis, he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about. Let Edgar give him a job in government, let him learn how the civil service operates. The service controls public funds, our money. So that was just a lame excuse which he was trying to advance,” said GBM.