ACTIONAID country director Nalucha Ziba says it is prudent that Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya must step aside from his duties to allow for proper investigations without undue influence.
In an interview, Ziba urged the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to thoroughly probe the embattled Minister’s corruption allegations and ensure the law took its course if he will be found wanting.
“As ActionAid Zambia, we welcome the arresting of the Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya and we know that the ACC has charged him with four counts of being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime. However, we know that there is [an aspect of] ‘being innocent until proven guilty.’ We are also aware that in view of our national values, it’s only prudent in line with transparency and accountability that the Minister of Health steps aside from his ministerial duties to allow a for a full investigation of the process so that we do not seem to have undue influence on the investigations,” Ziba said.
She hoped that the ACC’s investigations would not end as an academic exercise as witnessed in the past.
“We also hope that this should not just be a mere academic exercise by the Anti-Corruption Commission when it comes to dealing with people holding public offices where their cases just end at nolle prosequi. We hope that this is not just a process of cleansing, but a process where due investigations will be followed. We only hope that the Commission will be allowed to work with undue influence considering that they are dealing with a sitting Cabinet Minister,” said Ziba.
On Wednesday, the ACC finally arrested Dr Chilufya following questioning over several months and charged him with four counts of corruption for being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.