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Probe into privatization a witch-hunt – ChipimoBy Mirriam Chabala on 28 Dec 2018
NAREP leader Elias Chipimo says calls by President Edgar Lungu’s Press Aide Amos Chanda to institute an inquiry into privatization of national assets during the MMD era is a witch hunt targeted at people who are causing them sleepless nights.
And Chipimo has charged that President Lungu and his team are godfathers of corruption.
Meanwhile, People’s Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda says the governance system, under PF, is rotten and beyond redemption.
Featuring on Hot FM’s Hot Seat programme, Thursday, Chipimo said it would make more sense for the President to instead institute an inquiry into the purchase of fire tenders, among other exorbitant procurements.
“It’s very concerning that we should have a government that is more concerned about a witch hunt around a few individuals who are simply doing a professional job…personally I have nothing to hide with regards my role in the privatization process. I was never in a position to make decisions in terms of who gets which assets. All the ones I was involved in really involves Zambian individuals who were being empowered, none of them were my friends or my relatives. But what’s most alarming and what’s surprising is that we are ready to spend money on a witch hunt, when there are more serious issues. If we really want a judge-led inquiry, let’s have a judge-led inquiry into the 42 fire trucks which were purchased at more than 75 per cent of the real value,” Chipimo said.
“We should also have a judge-led inquiry into why we are spending three times the amount of money to construct roads, why were are spending over US$4 million constructing a toll gate with its related infrastructure. These are the things, if we are really serious, we should spend money trying to get to the bottom of. We should spend money trying to understand why individual ministers who have been told by the constitutional court that they were illegally in office and need to pay back the money that they earned have not done so. These are the areas that if we are really serious about the challenges that people are going through, if we are serious that’s what we should be conducting our inquires into… yes it is important to look at this question of privatization and what happened. But not to look at it as a witch hunt for purposes of undermining a few individuals who are causing you sleepless nights.”
And Chipimo charged that President Lungu and his team were godfathers of corruption.
“The current PF administration has never been and never will be interested in fighting corruption. They are the godfathers of corruption. Look at how long it took for there to even be a small a reaction from State House over the Financial Intelligence Centre report. Just think about it, a report have neen published, the whole country is talking about it and the Head of State can claim that he had not yet received a copy and yet his officials are the ones who are responsible for preparing it and also for sitting on that particular board. So it is unacceptable… we cannot give any better evidence than what the Anti-Corruption Commission already has, police service already has , the Financial Intelligence Centre already has, the Drug Enforcement Commission already has, the Auditor General’s office already has. There is a clear trail of very cogent evidence which can be acted upon. It’s not our responsibility now to start shedding even more light on things that he already knows about as Head of State. But there is no political will to fight corruption in this country,” said Chipimo.
Meanwhile, Banda, who featured on the same programme, charged that the governance system under PF was rotten and beyond redemption.
“This system of the PF is rotten, I believe that it’s beyond redemption and I don’t see how if by any chance the PF were to go through in 2021 would survive. The onus really lies on the people of Zambia to speak up because they are feeling the heat themselves. We are speaking because we are feeling it too but without the support of the Zambian people, it is very difficult for us to go on. We are in a system where things that are done for politics are accepted even if they are blatant crimes, because it’s politics, it’s okay. I will give an example, like the abuse of the public order act where political parties are not allowed to meet, the thing is that the people that are supposed to give permits actually they are the people that are abusing their authority, denying the rights of people to meet. It’s like anything anything that is done in a political name is accepted. But I think at this point, I don’t expect the PF government to change or to redeem themselves, I just want to appeal to the people of Zambia to speak up in 2019. Zambians you need to really show your displeasure if you really are not pleased,” said Banda.
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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