RAINBOW party general secretary Wynter Kabimba says people seeking to assume public office must be accountable to the people instead of complaining that they are being persecuted.
And Kabimba says the Anti-Corruption Commission has become a ridiculous institution.
Speaking when he featured on Radio Phoenix Let the People talk programme, Friday, Kabimba said it was the responsibility of anyone seeking a leadership role to answer people’s questions until they are satisfied.
“I think we have to take the issue of accountability in public life very seriously because it defines the quality of leaders that we would like to have to lead this nation. Is it a partisan issue? No. it should be a non- partisan issue. And immediately we try to take the dimension of partisanship, then we will not correct the moral values that are demanded of leaders, then people will not feel accountable as they are getting into public office. And public office does not mean just becoming President of the nation, it doesn’t mean becoming a minister in government. It means those of us who are in opposition,” Kabimba said.
“When you happen to be in a situation where it has been zeroed on you, don’t raise the red flag that you are being persecuted, don’t divert the attention. And I want to start this by talking about myself. You will recall that at the beginning of this year there was a news headline on ZNBC and the second item, and I believe they line up those items in order of importance. I think the first one was as usual about President Lungu, the second one was about NAPSA taking me to court because I owed them money by way of rent default. So whoever structured those news items thought that it was important that the public knows that Wynter Kabimba owes NAPSA by way of rent by default the sum of so much. I was not the only one I am sure that had defaulted there were many others but I was probably the only leader. And they wanted to hold me to account. Did you hear me climb to the high heavens that ‘Edgar has set NAPSA on me?’ No! Did you hear me complain that Joyce Nonde as Minister of Labor has set NAPSA on me? No! I knew that I must be held to account as a leader and lead by example. What then did I do? I went to NAPSA to discuss the matter and we settled it. I didn’t cry victim…You can answer a question many times until the public is satisfied that you haven answered the question you are not the judge. If I don’t want that, I should quit politics.”
He said it was a case of fraud if someone did not declare interest when discussing a bid involving his company.
“I don’t think anybody is saying somebody sold the mines as an individual. The issue is on conflict of interest not on the sale of the mines. Because the rules that govern conflict of interest are totally different from the rules that govern the sale of state enterprise. The rules are if I am in a meeting and there is a bid on the table and I am one of the committee members to consider that bid and I am interested or my company has also submitted a bid, I must be able to say to my colleagues in the meeting that ‘company X is my company, it is participating in the bid, can you record me that I have declared interest to enable you my colleagues to debate this matter without looking at my face and independently? So what will happen is that they will ask you to get out of the meeting, they will debate the bid and the bid from everybody and whatever they have debated and made a conclusion if you are still around then they will ask you to come back. Now, that part must be recorded in the minute that you did declare interest if you don’t, you pretend you don’t know company X and you are even debating that company X is the best. And you are bulldozing others to go your way and it is discovered that your wife or child is the director in this, then you have obtained that decision by way of fraud,” Kabimba said.
He said people should not attack former finance minister Edith Nawakwi but respond to the issues she raised on privatization.
I have been seeing the reaction against Nawakwi in the last three four days nobody is focusing on the issue she raised. What do we hear? ‘No you are not properly married’ what is a proper marriage anyway? There are people that live as boyfriend and girlfriend and they are happier than those that have a marriage certificate. So if the people of Zambia want a person who failed to declare interest in a business transaction, they will vote for you but the others must also ask the question, that is public life. If we are talking about privatization there are many people that should answer questions there. For example in this particular case Sun International must answer at what stage did they give the directorship or shares. I have done legal consultancy for the World Bank. Their rates are very low…Even here, how many consultancies have you seen, come to tell us that ‘we are World Bank consultancies’ they just walk with a laptop they can’t even afford a car,” Kabimba said.
“There’s is a myriad of questions that must be answered by everybody before we talk about an individual. You can blame Edith for bad judgement and I do blame her that she had a bad judgment getting into a pact with somebody she thought had an albatross around his neck. Does it deviate the purported issue? You can blame Edith for being in a bad marriage whatever that means but does that deviate from the issue of what X did? The answer is no. You can tell Edith your sausage business has collapsed and you are broke. Let us separate the issues and deal with the issues one by one.”
And Kabimba said ACC had become a shame to the nation.
“ACC has become a ridiculous institution in our country. I hope they are listening. They have become an extremely ridiculous institution to this country. And they have become a shame to this nation. I can’t think of any other institution that can beat ACC in terms of incompetence. And maybe that must be attached to the National Prosecutions Authority. I can’t imagine how they can arrest a citizen, give us the charges publicly against this citizen, take him to court, get their own witness to go and support those charges and the witness ends up saying nothing if anything, they end up saying everything favorable about that person. What nonsense is that? If those men and women at ACC had morals they should all resign because they are not worth serving the people of this country,” said Kabimba.