LUMEZI independent Member of Parliament Munir Zulu has charged that some UPND Alliance partners are jeopardising ongoing investigations by extorting money from former permanent secretaries in exchange for “protection”.

And Zulu has wondered why Dr Simon Miti is still serving as Secretary to the Cabinet, charging that he is a criminal who is not fit for that position.

But Dr Miti says he underwent a transparent, rigorous process of the Select Committee of Parliament, and Parliament ratified his appointment.

Addressing the media, Tuesday, Zulu called on President Hakainde Hichilema to take judicial notice of his partners under the UPND Alliance umbrella.

“I am challenging them today, that they should stop aiding criminals, to hide vehicles at their law firms. There is a certain Mr Kangwa who is closer to one of the UPND Alliance partners and has been calling the fired permanent secretaries that ‘we are going to offer you protection if you declare that which you have or that which you have stolen’. Some permanent secretaries did not steal but they were shown those vehicles at one of the offices. That is aiding criminality and I am calling upon the Republican President to take judicial notice of his partners in the UPND Alliance umbrella. Let them put their house in order. They are busy calling people, extorting monies under the banner of saying ‘we are going to offer you protection should you be summoned’,” Zulu said.

“The UPND Alliance partners are jeopardising the investigations that are currently taking place, either by the ACC or DEC. Those investigations are being jeopardised by those UPND Alliance partners that have not been considered for jobs yet. I think the ACC should have excused themselves from conducting any investigations because where were they all along? Most of the officers at ACC should be re-deployed to different institutions and bring in new officers that will do a better job. The excitement that these officers have now will not yield better results.”

Zulu also said it was not right for Energy Minister Peter Kapala to serve in the new dawn government.

“If it is NACL and EIZ, I am giving them up to 16:00 hours today, to avail that report that Kapala was found guilty of professional misconduct and he paid. Why should he be in this government? Then there is no new dawn. The Minister of Energy, honourable Kapala has shown that he is not going to follow instructions from the Republican President. The President said all instructions should be written. This is a Minister that has already started giving verbal instructions. Let us look at his track record. I am challenging the National Airports Corporation to refuse that they did not pay EIZ K400,000 for professional misconduct on the part of honourable Kapala over the Livingstone Airport scandal. Honourable Kapala was found guilty and paid K60,000 to EIZ for the building that EIZ owns, the roof had collapsed. The Long acres anthill bridge, the consultancy services were done by honorable Kapala. His record is not clean and does he qualify to serve in the new dawn government? The answer is no. Why should he be kept there? Is it because he offered consultancy when building the community house in New Kasama? If that is the reason then the fight against corruption is not going to be a success,” he said.

“I am having challenges to believe that this fight against corruption is going to yield any positive results. I say so because when we have seen the President fire or dismiss most of the permanent secretaries without him taking out the actual signatories to those that were making payments. For example NRFA, we still have Mr Wallace Mumba in office, we still have the CEO at RDA in office. What if those people are destroying evidence? Their continued stay in office is not adding any value to the fight against corruption. CEOs at NAPSA, NRFA and all quasi-government institutions should be relieved of their duties. If not, let them be put on indefinite leave to allow investigations to take place.”

And Zulu wondered why Dr Simon Miti was still serving as Secretary to the Cabinet, charging that he was not fit to be in that office because he was a criminal.

“I was summoned by the police about a month ago. When the police summoned me, they said I am cyber bullying Dr Simon Miti who is the Secretary to Cabinet. Let me mention that I am not a bully and I do not wish to be one. When the COVID-19 that was not authorised by the World Health Organisation came into Zambia, there was no cabinet in place. All I needed was Dr Miti to clarify how that vaccine entered the country. It is not me who said that Dr Miti is a criminal. For the record, there is a judgment in the Henry Kapoko’s case. The judge ruled that Dr Miti should be arrested, not that I said those words,” he said.

“So does Dr Miti qualify to continue serving in the new dawn administration? I do not see the reason why Dr Miti should continue to be in office. If he can go and complain at force headquarters that anyone that will query about that vaccine that is linked to Mr Findlay is [committing] a crime, then it shows that he will continue behaving the way he was behaving under the PF regime. For me, Dr Miti is a criminal and is not supposed to occupy that office. It is my prayer that I will find out how he was ratified by Parliament to be qualified to be Secretary to Cabinet.”

Zulu also wondered why the Immigration Department would want to revoke 17,000 Chinese permits.

“The immigration is threatening to withdraw 17,000 permits that were issued to Chinese. My question is why should they revoke when it’s them that issued those permits? I am calling upon the government to put a stay on all those permits and they should not be revoked. Let the government investigate who was on the wrong side of the law. If there was corruption, when those permits were issued, let the officers explain. You cannot issue a permit to someone and you revoke because there is a change of government,” said Zulu.

But in response to a press query, Dr Miti said he underwent a transparent, rigorous process of the Select Committee of Parliament and that Parliament ratified his appointment.

“Secretary to the Cabinet is a Constitutional post. One has to go through a transparent, critical, rigorous process of the Select Committee of Parliament where I personally attended which then recommends to the whole House of Parliament after interviewing various other witnesses like ACC, DPP, Police, DEC, TIZ etc. And then one is ratified by the whole House of Parliament. For me, everyone ratified my appointment. Kindly get full reports from parliament through the Clerk of the National Assembly which has all the information you require, even about Kapoko issues. You can also check the Judgement whether it contains the said allegations about what Kapoko said. Then about the vaccines, the competent authority that is Ministry of Health to comment on such matters and this statement was already broadcast on public media a few months ago,” said Dr Miti.

Meanwhile, Kapala was unavailable for comment by press time.