CHIEF Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya says a lot of money is being wasted because corruption is now being used as a tool to fight opponents, which is sad.
And Siliya says politicians should not dare the state because the police are there to protect the President and anything can happen in the process. .
Meanwhile, Siliya says because of bad leadership, the UPND fails to differentiate between leadership and bad manners.
Speaking when she featured on Diamond TV’s COSTA, Thursday, Siliya, who is also Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, said she would like Director of Public Prosecutions Lilian Siyunyi to tell the nation how much money had been wasted on fighting political corruption.
“You are presumed innocent until proven guilty and the law applies to all of us, it is not just for ministers. And I would like the DPP to tell us how much money has been wasted on fighting political corruption, because corruption now is demeaned as a political tool to fight opponents and it is quite sad,” Siliya said.
“The Anti-Corruption has never failed to deal with its agenda of fighting corruption, and in this country, nobody has been spared including presidents. Where there is corruption, let us allow the Anti-Corruption Commission to do its work professionally.”
And Siliya warned people not to dare the state because police were mandated to protect the President, no matter the casualties.
“This is a similar case as in Mongu, don’t dare government. The government has to try and keep the peace. Don’t dare government. Whether media or politicians, we don’t live in a vacuum. We live in a real society, culture, politics, values and everything. You see it was the same issue in Mongu where somebody said ‘oh it is just the president. Even I have got a GX and I can…don’t dare the state because the police are there to protect the State and the President represents the State. And anything is possible when you are going to try and incite. The president is representing the State. The police are there and if somebody gets shot at, the story will be different. Those people incited violence in a manner that the police could have reacted and then we would be talking about a different story today,” Siliya said.
Siliya said UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema should have condemned his cadres for booing President Edgar Lungu in Monze last week.
“President Edgar Lungu is not averse to criticism as long as it is palatable and makes sense. When PF cadres went to attack a radio station in Northern Province, surely, can you want to make an issue out of that and say ‘government you are just lip servicing?’ why? because we have the right not to say anything. Like we have seen now with parties where there is no proper leadership like the UPND where they have not been able to differentiate between leadership from just bad manners. When HH was attacked in Muchinga Province, the government or the president himself put on record that he is not going to tolerate indiscipline. Yes, he might not be able to control the cadres all the time but his voice is consistent. We are not forcing him (HH) to apologize [on the Monze incident but] we are just putting it on record the difference in leadership style,” she said.
Siliya also said youths had the right to protest freely but not during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“To say that youths should be allowed to put up placards, of course. Youths by their nature should be allowed to demonstrate peacefully and respectably. But at this point, we have said no gatherings where there is Coronavirus. You are saying that government wants to gag people’s freedom of expression. I am not aware that somebody like my dear friend Pilato who has been singing very freely about his differences with government has been arrested by anybody. Just because 30 youths decided that they were going to meet in the bush doesn’t mean that many other youths are not talking to us all the time. It is those who have nothing to do who are on the internet all the time making noise. There are thousands of youths whom government is helping,” Siliya said.
And asked why there was a decline in public confidence with regards to government projects, Siliya said that was the work of some politicians who had for the past five years been geared for elections.
“There are few people who are truly bent on making sure that confidence in government institutions is eroded. You said that we have been geared up for elections, no. A few people have been geared up for elections for the last five years. They have never thought of anything else. We in the government have to work. We have been thinking about our promises to the people of Zambia and responding to them. But there are a few people who believe that elections and politics are the beginning and the end. There are a few politicians who have decided to erode the whole country in terms of eroding their confidence in institutions of governance,” said Siliya.
Meanwhile, Siliya said the time for people to make submissions on Bill 10 has elapsed as it was now the turn for parliamentarians to make their own input.