STATE House says President Edgar Lungu will not fire Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya just because he has been accused of corruption.

According to a statement issued by Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe, President Lungu said the minister is still innocent until proven otherwise.

“Despite being charged with criminal offenses, in this case, corruption allegations, Hon Chitalu is currently innocent until proven otherwise by the courts of law. This assumption is predicated on the principle of presumption of innocence which is enshrined in the Constitution of Zambia and is consistent with according to an accused fair trial. According to Article 18 (2) of the Zambia Constitution, every person who is charged with a criminal offense shall be presumed to be innocent until he or she is proved or pleads guilty. And since the Zambia Constitution, as stated in Article (1) overrides any other written law, or customary law, or customary practice, everyone must respect the presumption of innocence,” Chipampe stated.

Chipampe said the burden of proof was not on Dr Chilufya.

“Therefore, a mere allegation is not a conviction and it is not the duty of the accused to prove his innocence. The principle of presumption of innocence until proven guilty by the courts of law is also enshrined in the African Charter on Human and people’s Rights and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights,” stated Chipampe.

He stated that the Head of State respected the independence of the judiciary and would not interfere in its operations.