NATIONAL Democratic Congress NDC president Chishimba Kambwili says President Edgar Lungu and the entire PF administration is scared of being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) because of their corrupt activities.
President Lungu on Sunday said those in charge of fighting corruption knew where to find it, but they couldn’t dare go there because all they wanted was to remove him from power.
Speaking when he toured Chifuba Market in Ndola where market shelters were being built, the Head of State said the fight against corruption in Zambia had been anchored on politics, accusing anti-corruption advocates of scheming for regime change.
In an interview, Kambwili said President Lungu was the only Head of State in the country’s history that had launched attacks on the ACC and wondered why he was scared of corruption investigations.
“The simple question that we should ask ourselves, why is it that President Lungu is so scared of the Anti-Corruption Commission? The President should give confidence to these investigative wings, but why is it that he is always attacking the Anti-Corruption. Ask yourself; which President in the history of Zambia has ever attacked the Anti-Corruption? Which President has ever attacked [ACC]?” Kambwili asked.
“Even that attack on the Anti-Corruption is window dressing. He is window dressing to try and launder the image of this administration. This administration is full of nothing but corruption! They work together with the ACC to launder people but some people want to show that they are not part of what the Anti-Corruption has been doing because we all know that the Anti-Corruption has failed when it comes to investigating those in government and those who are close to those in authority.”
He further wondered why President Lungu was getting excited about corruption in councils while his ministers were also engaging in it.
“So, it is very unbecoming for this President to be always attacking the Anti-Corruption. The reason is very simple: it is just to launder themselves. How can the President get excited about corruption in the markets and not get excited by the corruption of a Minister? [Why] not get excited by Bowman Lusambo who everyone knows was a pauper with no money at all? Today, he is the one giving donations, erecting billboards, giving K100,000 to a football team, paying rent for people who have nowhere to go. Surely, why can’t the President get excited and go deeper in these things and find where Bowman Lusambo is getting his money?” Kambwili wondered.
“[State Counsel John] Sangwa said and I quote, ‘If you make money in politics, then you are a thief”. That statement is nothing but a fact. If Bowman is a businessman, if Bowman has the ability to make money, why didn’t he make money when he was not in government? Bowman today is flashing money all over, Dr Chilufya is flashing money all over; almost all the ministers in Lungu’s government are flashing money all over; where have they gotten the money all of a sudden? Those are the issues that President Lungu should be talking about, not attacking the Anti-Corruption. We have asked for a lifestyle audit of all ministers, has the man even responded? So he wants to leave his ministers, he wants to leave the corrupt people and go for the corrupt in the councils?”
He said President Lungu’s pronouncements were inciting people to lose confidence in the ACC, which would render the country ungovernable.
“I appeal to my elder brother Edgar Lungu, stop attacking the Anti-Corruption publicly. If you have any issues with the ACC, call them to your office and register your problems, don’t go in public. Because if people lose confidence in the Anti-Corruption as a result of Presidential pronouncements, this country will be ungovernable. What happened on [Sunday] should be condemned,” Kambwili said.
“He is setting a tone, I mean how can the President say that they are only following my people and those who are doing well? The question is how have they started doing well all of the sudden when they are government? Why were they not doing well when they were not in government? It tells you something; if the President talks like that, he is inciting people to rise against the Anti-Corruption. That is why you can see a person at a roadblock because he is scared of the offence he has committed, he accuses the policeman that this one has said the President will not win elections and within minutes. the Deputy Inspector General of Police transfers him to Shangombo without giving him an opportunity to be heard.”
He said attacking the ACC was a sign of guilt from the Head of State.
“I have said and I want to say it again: if the head is rotten, then everything follows. If the head of the fish is rotten, then you know that the whole fish is not okay. This idea of attacking the Anti-Corruption is the question of the guilty are afraid. If I was President Lungu, what is happening in his government in terms of corruption and defending the people that are corrupt, he should not open his mouth and talk about corruption. If a person has no shame, he can say anything…,” Kambwili said.
“This government has no political will to fight corruption. Mr Sata, immediately a Minister was accused of corruption and the Anti-Corruption confirmed that they were investigating, he used to relieve them of their duties. Today, it is presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The law is very clear, the Anti-Corruption Act says any public officer who is being prosecuted for a criminal offence must be suspended. A lot of civil servants have been suspended; why are the ministers not being suspended? Because they know the whole process is to launder them.”
And the former chief government spokesperson has said Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe should be investigated for failing to inform the ACC of the corrupt activities concerning the construction of a market at K28 million in Mpulungu.
“What surprised me is how can a Minister be lamenting corruption? Lamentations are for the governed and not for the government. That Freedom Sikazwe has the right to pick the phone and tell the Anti-Corruption ‘can you investigate this issue in Mpulungu’. When he brought it before the President, that is serious; and the President should have said ‘I am directing the Anti-Corruption to quickly move into that issue in Mpulungu’, other than start attacking the Anti-Corruption. Sikazwe, you are part of that corruption. If you are not part of that Mpulungu corruption of K28 million for a market shelter, why haven’t you reported it to the Anti-Corruption?” wondered Kambwili.
“By the way, the Anti-Corruption is also very clear; any person who does not report an act of corruption within 24 hours is guilty of an offence, any public officer, minister inclusive. If you don’t report an act of corruption, then you are guilty of an offence. Sikazwe should be taken to court to answer for the charges of failing to report the corrupt act within the stipulated time. Ministers don’t lament, ministers take action. Why didn’t he take action? And he had to wait to come to Ndola with the President? Anyway, that is the result of taking a Rosa mechanic or Fuso Fighter mechanic as Presidential Affairs Minister, those are the results.”