FORMER Mufumbwe PF Member of Parliament Stephen Masumba says the party should lift the suspension slapped on North-Western Provincial chairperson Jackson Kungo for suspicions of corruption because he deserves the same treatment as corruption-charged Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya.
In April, PF secretary General Davies Mwila suspended Kungo for corruption allegations committed at Kansenseli Mine in Mwinulunga District. Kungo was later arrested along with some police officers and other PF members for theft of gold in Mwinilunga valued at over K24.7 million.
Speaking when he met party officials in Solwezi, Masumba said Kungo deserved the same treatment accorded to other corruption-charged officials in the party.
He urged chiefs in the province to support their sons the same way chiefs in Luapula gave solidarity to Dr Chilufya when he appeared in court.
“Whenever we see a person from North-Western Province being in trouble, solidarity is very important. We must always be there for each other. It doesn’t matter whether we differ in terms of political ideologies and so on but I think what comes first is a human being. I will encourage the people of North-Western Province that what is happening to Kungo today, tomorrow it can be yourself. And so when we begin to support each other even you, when you are in trouble, people will come all over and they will protect you. Look at the solidarity we have seen on our comrade Chitalu Chilufya who is the Minister of Health, we have seen chiefs coming all over from Luapula Province. But where are the chiefs here? We are your children, why are we not being supported?” Masumba asked.
“Because to me, according to the doctrine of presumptions of innocence, you will agree with me that when you look at Kungo and what is prevailing now is that he can be only be given a status of being guilty when he is charged before the courts of law. So these are mere allegations and the young man is not guilty. Why are distancing ourselves? I call upon the leadership of the Patriotic Front to say ‘look, just like you have treated other people where they are coming from a background of being arrested and they have not been suspended from their specific positions, both in government and the party,”
Masumba appealed to President Edgar Lungu to lift Kungo’s suspension.
“I am also appealing before the President that we are down before our knees that let us allows Kungo to be given that same set up where we can have a situation that even as he is trying to appear before the courts of law, we should first of all apply the law apply equally. Where we must see to it that Kungo should not be suspended not even to even expelled because if we do so then it mean that it will be as though the gentleman is already guilty. Just like we have given this opportunity to comrade Chitalu Chilufya who has not been dropped and similarly his position as a member of the Central Committee he has not been revoked. So because of that background I feel even Kungo must be treated in the same way,” said Masumba.