RAINBOW Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba says if President Hakainde Hichilema continues making pronouncements that the PF government was corrupt, he will force investigative agencies to start rounding up innocent people.
And Kabimba says youths did not vote out PF because of corruption but because they wanted jobs.
In an interview, Kabimba said it was not right for the Head of State to prejudice investigations.
“Nobody has been convicted so far over corruption charges, we have not heard of any official in the PF government who has been arrested or charged with corruption, that is most unfair. I think President Hichilema must allow investigative agencies to investigate cases of corruption systematically, professionally and bring those that were involved in corruption to book. It is not right for the President to prejudice those investigations by investigative agencies. If he continues making those pronouncements, like he is doing, he will force the investigative agencies to start rounding up innocent people so that they can prove to him that yes, there was corruption,” Kabimba said.
“He will make investigative agencies take weak cases to court where they will not secure any conviction and the people may turn round that because the President said that there was corruption and X has been acquitted, therefore that is the fault of the Judiciary that is an environment that he is creating. You can see that he is manning the matter to the extent that he has even made people like Joe Biden, the American President, believe that the youths of Zambia voted against PF because of corruption.”
And Kabimba said the youths in Zambia did not vote PF out because of corruption but because they wanted employment.
“The youths of Zambia did not vote PF out because of corruption, they voted for UPND because Mr Hichilema promised them jobs. They were voting for employment that he forced he promised the youths of Zambia. He was going round, asking youths to submit lists for employment consideration. As far as the Zambian youths are concerned, even if you arrest everybody in PF over corruption, it doesn’t put food on their table. What they want is to earn a living, earn an income to look after themselves and their families. So he has said enough about corruption, he has misled people enough including the general community, we want to see action now, And he must keep quiet so that the investigative agencies can get on with their work and prove to us that indeed, the corruption that President HH is talking about, existed in PF,” he said.
Kabimba, however, said anyone who abused their offices while serving in government should be brought to account but that due process should be followed.
He said it was not fair for President Hichilema to start making narrowed statements on corruption internationally.
“I am a strong advocate that anybody in the PF government that abused their authority in office must be brought to account. They must answer for their misdeeds that they committed. But we would like to see that done through the due process of the law not by way of kangaroo pronouncements. It has been believed in terms of general perception that there was corruption in the PF government. There was corruption perpetrated by the PF government. And it is one of the reasons why the people advocated for change and decided to vote the PF out of government on the 12th of August, 2021. President Hichilema during campaign trails, he dwelled on this issue of corruption in the PF government which coincided very much with the perception held by the general public. So they decided to give him the vote so that they can bring to an end the suspected or alleged corruption in PF and show that those that perpetrated corruption or were engaged in corruption in the PF could be brought to account,” said Kabimba.
“And starting with his first press briefing, his inaugural speech and all his subsequent speeches, President Hichilema has laid emphasis on this issue of the UPND government fighting corruption, so it has been his crusade. However, he also promised the Zambian people that the UPND government was going to promote the rule of law, in other words, every citizen according to our criminal justice system is innocent until they are proven guilty by an established tribunal i.e. the Judiciary in Zambia. So it is unfair and it is not right in my view that he must continue or make narrowed statements both here and internationally about Zambian corruption.”