Vice-President Inonge Wina says government does not interfere with the work of the Anti Corruption Commission which is already investigating some ministers.
She was responding to Monze Central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu during the Vice-President’s question time in Parliament, Friday morning.
Mwiimbu asked why government was not encouraging the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to do a lifestyle audit on Cabinet ministers who were accused of being corrupt.
“Your response pertaining to the cause to have a lifestyle audit conducted on ministers was that ‘there is no need to have this particular audit conducted.’ Are you not aware that under the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, there is a provision, which you, as PF, brought back in 2012 after it was removed by the MMD at the time. Why are you not adhering and encouraging ACC to do a lifestyle audit on those who have been accused of being corrupt?” asked Mwiimbu.
But in response, Vice-President Wina said the ACC was already investigating ministers accused of corruption.
“I’m getting confused regarding the question posed by the leader of the opposition. Because he is saying ‘government should allow ACC to investigate ministers.’ But this is happening, government has not stopped, nor does it interfere with the work of ACC! As for the lifestyle audit, I have said that when members of parliament, including ministers, come to Parliament, Parliament demands that the members’ assets and liabilities should be known and declared, and this is done,” Wina argued.
“And why this lifestyle audit should be confined only to ministers, I don’t understand it because all members of parliament are affected as we make the same declaration. Even the FIC (Trends) Report does not only confine itself to ministers, it mentions a lot of other players, including private sector members. So, the lifestyle audit for ministers only, does not really hold water. Unless we all agree that every member of parliament should be audited. Perhaps this may be viable.”
She said there was currently no budget for lifestyle audits.
“But for now, I don’t think this law should be discriminatory and be applicable to a sector of our society and not everyone else. It will be a mammoth task to undertake such a lifestyle audit for everyone, including those in business, as to where they get the money from. And there is no budget for this exercise at the moment,” Vice-President Wina said.
Meanwhile, Vice-President Wina informed the House that funds that were allocated for the construction of the ultra-modern 20,000-seater Mongu Stadium in Western Province may have been diverted to other projects.
She said this was due to wrangles between government officials and the contractors.
“Indeed, the father of PF (late Michael Chilufya Sata) promised the people a stadium. Not only promising, he went there to break the ground for the stadium. Unfortunately, during that time, there were a lot of wrangles between the contractors and government officials. Unfortunately, the project did not take off. In the process, the funds that were allocated for that project might have been diverted to other projects. I’m not very sure, but I will investigate to find out what happened to the money that was given to the project,” she said.
She was responding to Mongu Central UPND member of parliament Mwilola Imakando who asked for an update on the project.
And Vice-President Wina said a few years from now, Zambians would be proud that the PF government had addressed all issues of infrastructure in the country.
“It’s true that this government has borrowed. It has borrowed for good reasons. Borrowing for the sake of borrowing and consumption, is different from borrowing for development. And this is what has happened in this administration. That’s why you see good roads, good structures. Few years from now when all these structures are completed, Zambians would be proud to know that, ‘yes, there was a government that addressed issues of infrastructure in the country where nothing was available’,” said Vice-President Wina.
Wina was responding to Katombora UPND member of parliament Derrick Livune who asked: “Your government has borrowed a lot of money to do some capital projects, among them the 650 clinics. In Mazabuka, the roads are not done; Choma, Sinazongwe, they are not done. In some cases, the contractors have demobilized. Explain the relationship, borrowed funds for a particular function, but not deliverable, meanwhile the contractor has demobilized, where has the money gone?”