Former Attorney General Musa Mwenye says everybody who is serving or previously served in government must be subjected to a lifestyle audit so that possessed wealth can be explained.
And National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili says even chickens can tell that ministers in Zambia are criminals who cannot justify their wealth if subjected to lifestyle audits.
In his viral Tweet yesterday, @MusaMwenye posted that a lifestyle audit was necessary for everybody, including him, so that leaders can show what they own compared to what they owned before holding public office.
He added that those who claim to have legitimately amassed massive wealth must be made to show the taxes they paid to government.
“All of us who have held or hold public office must be subject to lifestyle audits. What did we have before we were appointed? What do we have during or after appointment? Lastly, If we claim we earned money legitimately, then let us show the taxes we paid or tax returns we filed. This is because if you sale goods or provide services legitimately, you have to pay taxes and/or file tax returns,” demanded Mwenye served under Michael Sata’s Patriotic Front government, but now runs his private law firm.
“It is immoral for public officials to live lavish lives when they should be serving poor people. It is extremely worrying when a lot of the luxury cars on the roads are driven by those in public office and when they are the biggest ‘buyers’ in most night clubs. Public service is service, not an avenue to become millionaires.”
And Kambwili told reporters at court, Monday, that the criminality among PF ministers was so clear that even chickens could see, adding that a lifestyle audit was needed now so that ministers explain how they are building houses and buying trucks.
“I have always said that this government is full of nothing but corrupt people and thieves and people didn’t take me seriously. If you have heard a recording by one of the PF cadres which has gone viral from 05:00 hours, among themselves they have started revealing the corrupt practices that their ministers have been involved in. My brother and friend, President Edgar Lungu, you have a big challenge on your hands to sweep and clean the corruption in your government. Even your cadres know who are the thieving ministers. Now these same ministers and officials from State House have started fighting among themselves because they are being jealous of each other. There is no friendship among thieves, so now it’s coming out,” Kambwili said.
“This is what happens when you lose focus as a leader. When a leader is also involved in corruption, it becomes very difficult for him to clean corruption. How can you keep people in government that openly, even a chicken on the street can see that this one is corrupt? Because what is now happening is that even chickens are now telling them that bakabolala imwe (you thieves). So the onus is on President Edgar Lungu to clean up this corruption. We need what George Mpombo called for, lifestyle audits for all the ministers as soon as possible so that we know where they are getting money to build houses and to buy trucks.”
And Kambwili said he didn’t want to report corruption cases to ACC while PF was in power because the culprits would be given “useless charges like concealing property”.
“That’s why some of us have said that this corruption cannot be reported to the Anti Corruption Commission while they are still in power. We are just documenting because if we report it now, they are going to give them cases like concealing property. What a useless charge. We want you to give them charges of money laundering, where has he gotten that money to buy that property to conceal it? Those are the substantive corruption charges. So this country, I don’t know whether it has gone to the dogs, or it is the dogs that have come to this country, I leave it to the people of Zambia,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kambwili commended Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe for her directive that the Accountant General should ensure that all accountants in government are registered with a regulatory body.
He, however, wondered why the ministry wanted to take up the payment of subscriptions for all accountants that would be registered when nurses and teachers with meagre salaries were paying without any subsidy.
“By the way, Margaret Mwanakatwe two days ago gave a very good statement for which I commend you. That all accountants who are not registered, must register with a regulator and that all the costs will be bond by the Ministry of Finance. Now Mwanakatwe, teachers have been paying their registration fee from their meagre salaries, doctors have been paying from their salaries, even nurses, why should you segregate and pay for accountants? In any case, accountants earn more money than teachers, nurses. I’m calling you to also refund all the teachers and nurses what they have paid and let the Ministry of Education and Health pay for them. But this is what happens when you have a chipante pante government,” said Kambwili.