SANAC executive director Gregory Chifire says calls by State House to open a Commission of Inquiry into the privatisation of public assets that took place over 20 years ago, is reckless and an ill-conceived illusion to divert people’s attention from the current theft in PF.

In a statement to News Diggers! Chifire stated that calling for a Commission of Inquiry was not only a waste of resources and human capital, but also precious time.

“Calling for a Commission of Inquiry on Privatization of public assets that took place over 20 years ago is foolhardy. It is a waste of resources, human capital and precious time. It is an ill-conceived illusion designed to divert the attention of the people of Zambia from the current theft of public money taking place in the PF government, and the general mis-governance. It is meant to malign certain individuals for the political gain of the PF regime,” Chifire argued.

“We shudder to imagine the amount of money that the nation will lose in paying commissioners and other costs. This money could have gone to pay students’ meal allowances or could have gone towards the support of farmers.”

Chifire observed that since the PF came into power in 2011, a number of Commissions of Inquiry had been set up, but no findings had been availed to the public.

“Since the PF regime came into power, a number of Commissions of Inquiry have been set up, but Zambians have not been availed the findings of such inquiries. Needless to mention that some of them were abandoned midway and others have endless time frames – a pure manifestation of a lack of seriousness,” he stated.

He insisted that it would be prudent for government to carry out a self-check instead of a Commission of Inquiry on things that would not benefit the nation.

“As opposed to setting up a Commission of Inquiry on things that will in no way benefit the nation, but milk the meagre resources, wouldn’t it have been prudent for this government to simply carry out a serious self-introspection and self-check? The PF party is pre-occupied with winning the 2021 elections. The party is so obsessed with ensuring that it creates the easiest passage for its candidate the beyond-2021 period by ensuring they eliminate possible challenges,” Chifire added.

“A more realistic Commission of Inquiry is one that would be set up to look at how parastatal institutions, such as Zesco, ZNBC, ZAFFICO and many others, are being sold to the Chinese as architects of this plunder are still alive and can be made to account as opposed to calling for an inquiry on something that we know cannot be concluded with completeness.”

And Chifire stated that if PF meant well for the country, they could have first dealt with the corruption in their regime.

“Realistically speaking, if the PF regime meant well for this country, they could have first started dealing with the corruption that has bedevilled this regime. This is the problem that will send them packing come 2021. There is no money in the economy; the Chinese are getting every contract to the exclusion of local contractors; procurement of goods and services by government is over-priced; ordinary Zambians are getting poorer, while the politically-connected are getting richer overnight. Ordinary Zambians cannot do profitable business anywhere in their country as this is a preserve of the Chinese and PF carders. These are the things that must concern this regime,” he stated.

Chifire charged that it was high time government stopped playing senseless politics, adding that whoever advised State House on calling for the Commission of Inquiry had misled them.

“Really, it is difficult to understand the purpose and objective for this Inquiry. Surely, will this Inquiry bring back ZCCM, UBZ, INDECO, ZIMCO, MEMACO and other parastatals? Will it bring food that has become a luxury on the table of Zambians? It’s high time this government stopped playing senseless politics. Whosoever their advisor on this has really misled them. This is a senseless witch-hunt that will haunt the perpetrators themselves,” warned Chifire.

“For the sake of statistics, the PF are playing wrong mathematics. If they cared to be smart in their politics, they could have concentrated their efforts on job creation for the youths who form majority of voters. These don’t even understand the events surrounding privatisation that took place over two decades ago. PF is pre-occupied with fixing individuals at the expense of national development. It is this obsession that has beclouded their reasoning.”