DORA Siliya should not lie that corruption scandals have been detected by government systems because it is the independent news media that have exposed the vice, says governance activist Brebner Changala.

Last Tuesday, Siliya who is Chief Government Spokesperson as well as Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, told Parliament that she was pleased that government had functioning systems, which managed to expose irregularities at the Ministry of Health, among other institutions.

But Changala observed that Siliya was being dishonest, arguing that it was actually the independent news media, which government had been stifling, that unearthed several corruption scandals.

“Madam Dora Siliya is less honest and less noble. We must agree that without the independent media, which they have been harassing at all costs, which they want to stifle, the independent media, which they have portrayed as enemies of the State; there is no way scandals like the one at the Ministry of Health could have been unearthed. It is this kind of dishonest behaviour by our government officials, by people like Madam Dora Siliya, that is bringing down the development of this country. Can Madam Dora Siliya tell this nation that the revelations and findings of the News Diggers! would have been done by Times of Zambia? Would it have been done by Zambia Daily Mail? Would it have been done by ZNBC? She must be sincere. She is a problem in her own self as a top political leader who jumps from one party to the another in search of personal benefits at the expense of national development,” Changala said in an interview.

He added that Siliya and President Edgar Lungu could not walk with their heads high because they had weakened institutions that ought to fight corruption.

“Madam Dora Siliya cannot stand with her head high, neither can President Lungu stand with his head high when you look at this corruption, which has become endemic. The corruption, which they have failed to handle because they have taken a strong and firm hand against the institutions that fight corruption like ACC and the DEC. These institutions are now moribund, they are the ones, which are supposed to unearth these scandals, but they can’t. It is the independent media that is assisting and siding with the people of Zambia,” he observed.

Changala also cautioned that the introduction of the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Bill was meant to facilitate continued theft to go unchecked, while stifling and criminalising whistle-blowers.

“The Cyber Security Bill, which they are introducing and probably its the idea of people like Madam Dora Siliya, so that the stealing and the banditry can go unchecked. And I know that cyberspace is meant to monitor, stifle and criminalise the whistle-blowers, who are in government, who are at the scene of [the] crime; those who witness the misdemeanours that are committed by our government officials. So, Dora Siliya cannot get any credit for any reason at all or if anything, she faces condemnation and ridicule because she is part and parcel of a failing system that thrives and leaves on corruption!” said Changala.