NGOCC says Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Ronald Chitotela must resign and allow the Anti Corruption Commission to carry out investigations without any influence.

In a statement, Thursday, NGOCC chairperson Mary Mulenga stated that the organisation was concerned with the graphic matrix of Chitotela’s alleged theft that was published in News Diggers, showcasing how government resources were being laundered into private pockets.

“The Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has noted the arrest of Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister, Hon. Ronald Chitotela, by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on two counts of concealing property believed to be proceeds of crime. NGOCC is particularly concerned with the graphic matrix of alleged theft that was published by the media, showcasing how government resources are being laundered into private pockets,” Mulenga stated.

“As an organisation, we are saddened that this is being reported at a time when the country’s economy is failing with 54.4 percent (according to the LCMS, 2015) of citizens wallowing in poverty. The mere fact that an investigative agency has arrested Hon. Chitotela is reason enough for the nation to worry about the depth of alleged plunder of national resources by public officials in government.”

She called on Chitotela to resign and allow ACC to carry out investigations without any influence.

“In view of the above, NGOCC demands that Hon. Chitotela immediately vacates his office to allow the ACC undertake objective investigations without undue influence and for his own integrity. Whilst we note the Republican President Edgar Lungu’s position of maintaining the Minister because he remains innocent until proven guilty, as an organization, we strongly feel that this is a serious hindrance to justice delivery. NGOCC therefore wishes to challenge the Head of State to trust in the fairness of the judicial system and allow the law to take its course,” stated Mulenga.

“It is NGOCC’s conviction that corruption is a cancer that takes away resources from the public by a few selfish individuals to the detriment of sustainable national development. The impact of corruption is that it deprives majority of our citizens who should have benefited from these resources. NGOCC therefore demands that our leaders be more responsible and we call for collective efforts and a genuine aspiration in the way our country is governed. Let us all promote transparency and accountability at all levels of public service.”