NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili says revelations by Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2018 report that Zambia’s international ranking has reduced by nine points to 105 from the 96th position in 2017, will stir skepticism in the minds of funders and investors over government’s capacity to fight corruption.
And Kambwili says President Edgar Lungu cannot take any action against Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Lawrence Sichalwe for circulating a pornographic video on social media because that action is normal to him.
In an interview, with News Diggers, Kambwili said revelations in the corruption perception index were worrying.
“Corruption is a cancer and it has destroyed nations. Corruption has destroyed individuals and families. Because of the so much corruption in administering the debts that we are getting for projects, where when you get the funding for the projects, they are overpriced and the money is ending up into pockets of individuals, especially the pockets of those in government and the ministers, State House officials and the President himself. Such in itself is making the issue of doing business in Zambia difficult and it is also taking away valuable funds that can be used for the development of this country and that’s making people suffer. Then also because we have over borrowed to the extent that we are not even seeing where the money has been spent, we are meant to repay those debts at very exorbitant interests, taking into account the conditions of the loans plus the exchange rate coupled with the inflation levels,” Kambwili said.
“I have always said that this is the only government where a minister can go into a constituency and donate over K600,000 when his annual salary is K250,000. This is the only country where a minister can build churches and donate in the constituency, fully furnished, and the President is watching. This is the situation we have in this country and some people take it so lightly when we talk about corruption but the end result is that donors will lose confidence and stop funding our projects…If the status quo continues, then funders will pull out. Investors will stop coming to Zambia. Those are the indicators in a country where leaders do not want to fight corruption because they see nothing wrong with it.”
And Kambwili said President Lungu could not fire Sichalwe because circulating porn was normal to him.
“For this government, their game is corruption and for them, corruption is very normal. They will go and arrest an official from the Ministry of Education who has stolen K2 million and they will leave a minister who has been mentioned in the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) report that has money in his account and he externalized money which has unexplained sources. Where is the fairness? This is a government where a teacher who forges a certificate is fired but a PS who forges a certificate is kept. This is a government were an ordinary citizen on the street who is found with pornography is sent to court and jailed but when a minister circulates pornography, he’s not arrested and he’s not questioned. So everybody around the world looks at you as being abnormal. But for President Edgar Lungu, all those things are very normal with him as long as it’s committed by people who are close to him, people he does things with, he will not take any action,” said Kabwili.