UPND vice-president Geofrey Bwalya Mwamba says he gets shocked when he sees how some ministers, who had nothing in the Michael Sata-led government, have now become 50 times richer than him.
And Mwamba says it will be difficult for President Edgar Lungu to punish Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Ronald Chitotela because he has done some corrupt deals with the Pambashe PF member of parliament.
In an interview, Mwamba said he did not believe that corruption was the reason why Chitotela had been arrested.
“Let me tell you, for me, who has actually been in government, I know what goes on. The Anti-Corruption [Commission] reports to the President over the so-called corruption allegations and investigations. The President is the final man to decide to say: ‘okay, you investigate him.’ But the question is, why hasn’t it been done a long time ago against Chitotela when Edgar knew about the corruption? Edgar can’t tell me that this is the first time he’s hearing about the corrupt activities taking place by Honourable Chitotela; this has been something that has been going on for a long time! That’s why President Lungu must cast his net wider; all his ministers cannot account for what they have amassed today, and I am there to prove it because I worked with them, all of them!” Mwamba said.
“Before we formed government, I was the main financier of PF, none of them had even a cent! But today, let me tell you, they are 50 times wealthier than me, and this is something, which is not hidden, it’s in public domain and everyone knows about it. But then, the buck stops at Edgar, Edgar can stop this corruption. But unfortunately, he can’t stop corruption because he’s the grand-master of corruption! How is he going to deal with corrupt ministers if he’s also corrupt and he’s dealing with them? So, Chitotela’s corruption investigations, they will just sit on them. Those investigations will not go anywhere, I don’t think it will go anywhere because Chitotela knows a lot of about Edgar, they have done deals together. But if Edgar is man enough, let him prove it to us that he’s not involved, and let Chitotela be prosecuted, fired and be investigated immediately! Lungu should cast his net even wider, let him go to Dr Chilufya also. Who doesn’t know that Dr Chilufya has acquired wealth close to Edgar himself? Let all these ministers be investigated!”
Mwamba said he believed Chitotela’s arrest actually had nothing to do with corruption, but that President Lungu was just threatened by the Minister’s growing presidential ambitions.
“Chitotela’s arrest actually has nothing to do with corruption because Edgar Lungu doesn’t fire or arrest or allow the Anti-Corruption to arrest those who are corrupt, unless they do what Chitotela has been doing. Chitotela has been undermining Lungu together with others [in] the so called ‘Luapula United ministers.’ Basically, that has been the only reason for his arrest; if he wasn’t fighting Edgar, politically, or trying to take over the presidency of PF, even now, he would have been a free man! Mind you, there is no small or big corruption. No matter how little corruption may be, one ought to be arrested and investigated,” said Mwamba.
“But for Honourable Chitotela, this is not the first time that he has been implicated in corrupt activities. To me, this is the second time and beyond that, Chitotela should have been arrested a long time ago because it has been in public domain for so many years that Chitotela has been corrupt. Chitotela, even if you go to his constituency today, I am told that he flashes money like nobody’s business! Just like Honourable Chilufya in Mansa, I was in Mansa a few days ago when his supporters were telling me that they’ve never seen such kind of expenditure, which Honourable Chilufya is exhibiting. These people have been corrupt and Edgar knows, but he can’t do anything about it because he’s also involved!”