KABUSHI PF member of parliament Bowman Lusambo says he has never seen a politician steal money from government.
Commenting on President Hakainde Hichilema’s sentiments that he would make it difficult for people to steal public funds, Lusambo said the fight against corruption was not a new song because past Presidents had introduced the same policy.
In an interview, Lusambo said politicians could never steal government money because it was audited.
“I have never seen a politician who steals money from government. If politicians steal money from government, today government would have not been there because politicians do not sit in any tender committee. Politicians do not award contracts. Politicians are just there to give a political will and we do not influence anything. That is why all the activities of the government are coordinated by technocrats, everything. Even the speeches which we read and used in functions it is technocrats who do that. So how do you say politicians steal?” Lusambo asked.
“I have never seen a politician who has stolen from the people of Zambia because government money is audited money and that is counted money. So how can you steal and at which point? We have seen Presidents coming into the scene with the word corruption and he is not the first one. Kenneth Kaunda did the same, Fredrick Chiluba did the same, Levy Mwanawasa and Rupiah Banda also did the same. Michal Sata, Edgar Lungu and now him [Hakainde Hichilema]. It is the same story of corruption. So it is not a new song, it is a song which has been there. Nothing will change.”
During a press conference on Thursday, President Hichilema said the Auditor General’s report and FIC reports would not just be ending up on “shelves” but would be handed over to the National Prosecution Authority.
“This year we want to do something different. We discussed it with the Auditor General yesterday (Wednesday). The Auditor General complained that in the years passed, they even failed to do audits because the colleagues that were in office didn’t want the Auditor General to do the audits. The Auditor General reports, the FIC Reports, the DEC, ACC, those reports will be handed over to prosecutions so that the prosecutions can decide this matter amicably. The Auditor General’s report will not be a report going on the shelves, it will be a report going to the National Prosecution Authority,” said President Hichilema.
“Parliament Committee should not just be a process. The political will is here now. We want to make it sour to steal from Zambians, we want to make it uncomfortable to steal from Zambians. It has been too comfortable; it has been made to be normal in the last 10 years. We want to make corruption and stealing from public coffers uncomfortable… I know a lot of people are clamouring for positions but they must search their souls first.”