Former Attorney General Musa Mwenye, says it is not government’s job to defend those accused of corruption, but to prosecute them.
And Mwenye says late presidentMichael Sata fought corruption better because he fired ministers accused of corruption so that they could face prosecution without interference.
Meanwhile, Mwenye says he remains under oath and will not be pushed to reveal what transpired in Cabinet after late president Michael Sata’s death, regarding who was the right person to act as Head of State, stressing that his role was merely to protect and uphold the Constitution of Zambia and he did just that.
On Wednesday, PF deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri charged that Mwenye and Professor Oliver Saasa were failures in their fields, and that their sentiments on corruption should be detested by Zambians. This was after the duo expressed concern with the corruption levels in the country, when it featured on a News Diggers/OSISA public discussion forum.
Reacting to the statement from Phiri, Mwenye wondered if the PF considered the corrupt as good people who should be glorified.
“It’s the first time that we have seen such determined defence of the corrupt by people who should be the first to condemn corruption. Those in Government or close to Government should be in the forefront of condemning corruption and the corrupt. I worked in the government of late president Michael Sata MHSRIP and although he made mistakes like any other person, he tried to condemn corruption at every opportunity he had. Under President Sata, we introduced the Anti Corruption Act 2012 and operationalised the FIC which is being condemned left right and Centre by people who claimed to share late President Michael Sata’s views. When we were in office, three ministers were dismissed and then prosecuted for corruption. One was actually convicted. Some PS’s and other officials were fired on allegations of corruption,” Mwenye recalled.
“As Solicitor General and later Attorney General I and my other colleagues in watch dog roles fought corruption to an extent that in 2012 the TIZ Corruption perception index rose to 37 and in 2013 and 2014 it rose to an all time high of 38, the highest and best ever recorded. We fought corruption and there were no major financial scandals when we were in Government advising late President Sata. So what failure are some of these people talking about? The only thing we failed at is being corrupt because we went into government to serve and not to steal from the poor Zambians. Some are succeeding brilliantly at corruption and vanishing into thin air after they corruptly acquire 48 properties. My CV speaks for itself, and if those doubting our accomplishments cared to read, they would not have made such pedestrian and frankly, uninformed comments. Zambia is our country and we love it. We served it without plundering it or stealing from poor Zambians.”
Musa wondered if the new PF policy was to protect and glorify the corrupt after Sata’s death.
“I want to reiterate what I said that the corrupt are evil and should not be glorified by idolising them! I also want to repeat that public officials should not live like super star millionaires Jay Z and Beyoncé when the Zambians whose taxes pay their salaries are poor. Is it the new policy of the party founded by my late boss President Sata MHSRIP that the corrupt are good people, who we should praise? Are we now being told that the party my late boss founded is now saying that a person who steals millions of dollars from poor Zambians, acquires 48 properties and simply vanishes into thin air, is a good person? are they now saying that it is ok for public officials who are paid by poor Zambians to buy Range Rovers, spend huge amounts of money in bars and live like American super stars? Why are some Party officials of a Party that we understood to be pro poor and allergic to corruption under late President Sata, coming out in defence of corrupt people who we have not named? Since we have not named these evil corrupt people, do these party officials know these evil people who probably stole US$417 Million from the poor people of Zambia last year alone? Do they know these evil people who stole money that could have funded the whole budget of the ministry of education to benefit our poor children? These are the questions we need answers to, not statements in defence of evil corrupt people. The English say, let he or she, whom the hat fits wear it.”
And Mwenye said he was still under oath and could not disclose Cabinet dealings during his time.
“As to the advice I gave after the death of late President Sata, I am still under oath and do not wish to discuss that. Suffice to say that I swore to defend and uphold the Constitution of The Republic of Zambia as by law established and we did just that,” said Mwenye.
“Let me take this opportunity to challenge all politicians, opposition political parties and the ruling party which was founded by my late boss President Michael C Sata to join the citizens of this country in condemning the corrupt and corruption. In my humble view, the job of Govt is to prevent corruption and to fight it, the corrupt people who are being defended by these few officials have enough money to hire expensive lawyers to defend themselves. Let us not concentrate our efforts on defending evil corrupt people who have become very rich but rather let us concentrate on defending the poor of this country and prevent the theft of their money that is being stolen on a daily basis.”