Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) Chairperson Bishop John Mambo has called for the instant dismissal of Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Ronald Chitotela.
And Bishop Mambo has observed the corruption scandal in which Chitotela is a embroiled in is consequence of appointing questionable characters to government positions.
Bishop Mambo has further called for the investigation and prosecution of other individuals within government, who have been suspected of engaging in corrupt activities, adding that there should be no sacred cows in the fight against corruption.
On Tuesday, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) arrested and interrogated Chitotela on allegations of corruption and slapped him with two counts of concealing property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Commenting on the development in an interview with News Diggers! Bishop Mambo said there were many other people in government involved in what Chitotela had been accused of, but that they could not be punished because the system was protecting them.
“If I am found wanting and we have these institutions of governance, they should start demonstrating their relevance and presence in the nation because under their watch, the economy of this country has been destroyed to a level that we are almost a shell. We have reached the stage of a ‘mafia state,’ where you are most powerful if you have a long hand and you know how to manipulate and get money that will not work for you. I think this is a right move by the ACC, but the question is, is he (Chitotela) the only one? We want to avoid this idea of sacrificial lamb, where we had Honourable [Emerine] Kabanshi being removed as Minister of Community Development and we didn’t even know what the outcome was. Why should ministers be removed when the controlling officer is the Permanent Secretary?” Bishop Mambo wondered.
“If we go by what the British left, the one running the institution, of course at policy level, it’s the ministers doing that. But the day-to-day running of the Ministry and the one that has a cheque book for each Ministry is the Permanent Secretary, meaning that the Minister would avoid all the happenings. But much as this is a positive move, should the Honourable be the only one to be investigated? No! If I am found wanting, that should be the beginning of the whole thing because then, we will expose ourselves to say we want to re-address ourselves to the issue of corruption, which is no longer corruption, it’s theft! It’s like me being a Minister or a Permanent Secretary, but you know that I am a thief, you appoint me deliberately even when the system and the clearance show you that this person’s character is questionable, but you still go ahead to appoint him using power. These are the results that we shall be getting now and again.”
Bishop Mambo also observed that the current PF had not respected late president Michael Sata’s vision, but were only using his legacy to keep themselves in power.
“Sometimes, I sit and have my heart bleed in the sense that everything that Sata stood for has been rubbished by the same people that he gave jobs. But if that time I was found wanting, and I am found wanting now, you still want to keep me in the system? The answer is no! We have not respected them. The ruling party PF has not respected the legacy and the vision of Michael Chilufya Sata, that they have not done! They have used his name in order to remain in power and in positions. But those of us who knew him very well, he did not tolerate certain things and for you to re-do what he undid, it’s sad. It’s just that we don’t read the mood of the people,” said Bishop Mambo.
“And this is what has divided the country because how would you bring sanity when you know that Mambo is wanting, but tomorrow he’s the one that will be put in the position of authority? It’s important that for us to move this country forward, we clear the air on corruption. We don’t just end there; you have a Minister of Traditional Affairs (Lawrence Sichalwe), who is involved in [distributing] pornographic material, which is not allowed by law in this country, it’s illegal! But still, the police are saying: ‘we are investigating.’ But if it was John Mambo found with pornographic material, you wouldn’t have been talking to me today, you wouldn’t even know where to call me, it would have been something else, and my life would have been gone forever and ever. But there, you are shielding these people, no! When a worker makes a mistake they must be punished, so fire them!”