AFRICAN Parliamentarians’ Network Against Corruption (APNAC) Zambia chapter chairman Cornelius Mweetwa says corruption in the country has thrived under President Edgar Lungu’s administration because of his motto: “ubomba mwibala, alya mwibala”

Last week, President Lungu said the thieves who destroyed the economy were now the ones saying there was corruption in the country.

But in an interview, Mweetwa said the fight against corruption in Zambia had been corrupted under President Lungu’s seven-year tenure in office.

“If the fight has been corrupted, it is under his administration because under president (Levy) Mwanawasa, there was a genuine fight against corruption and everyone was scared of involving themselves in corrupt activities. Today, no one is scared of involving themselves in corrupt activities because they know the motto of President Lungu in the fight against corruption. The motto is: ubomba mwibala, alya mwibala (he who works in the cornfield eats what is in the cornfield) so under that motto, we have seen corruption flourish and thrive to the highest level possible. So, there is nothing more or less that we can attribute the fight against corruption other than the attitude of those who are in leadership under President Lungu,” Mweetwa said.

“Where Ministers appear at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), appear at court, but they are still serving under his administration; things have to get out of hand, like the issue of expired drugs; people have to be told through the Public Accounts Committee that, ‘expired drugs and defective condoms were supplied,’ that is the only time action is going to be taken? Now, imagine the loss of life that was already endangered. This is the administration that we have for now until August.”

And Mweetwa, who is also Choma Central UPND member of parliament and the party’s newly-appointed publicity chairperson, insisted that anyone who had not served in government could not be blamed for the country’s deteriorated economy.

“I don’t know who he (President Lungu) is referring to because the only people who are accountable to the destruction of this country are UNIP, MMD and PF who have had the opportunity to be in government. Everybody else has not been in government and, therefore, cannot be blamed for the decline of the economy because they have not had the opportunity to preside over national issues. Unless he is referring to people who have been in MMD and who have been in PF and now they are blaming his administration, then it makes sense and there can be no other way of interpreting that statement other than just that. Beyond that, it cannot make sense,” said Mweetwa.