PEOPLE’S Alliance for Change (PAC) president Andyford Banda says revelations that some PF-aligned civil servants are destroying evidence requires the UPND government to quickly implement mechanisms to ensure that such individuals are fired.
In an interview, Banda said the possibility of evidence being destroyed could compromise ongoing investigations by law enforcement agencies.
“The fact that a lot of people who are PF-aligned have been left to run the affairs of government and the fact that the PF government itself the way it ran things was in a very bad way, most of the people in senior positions were PF-aligned. It is obvious that they may start destroying evidence and what not. So the UPND government should actually come up with a mechanism to ensure that people are quickly replaced and those that seem to be holding or tampering with evidence are fired without question. So we hope to see some change going forward,” Banda said.
“This may compromise investigations. One of the things why people voted for the UPND was that they were going to fight corruption. We are almost two months after the election and there is nothing that shows that anyone stole from the PF because of the slow pace at which things are moving. Even those that have been taken to court or arrested, they just seem like it is any other day. There is not much difference between the way it was happening in the PF and the way it is happening now. People are going to court or being found wanting. The challenge that the President is going to have is that in the next five years, he will not have anything to say that this is the corruption that he fought. People will be like ‘no, it is you who failed because you took time to act on a number of things so in the end, nothing happened’.”
Banda said the slow pace at which appointments were being done showed that government was still trying to figure out how things were done.
“We are also concerned about the slow pace of the way things are moving. We were hoping that with the change of government, a lot of things are going to be moving at a fast pace. What we would have expected from the government was that if we were the ones that had formed government, we would have actually fired people that could have tempered with evidence immediately. There is no need for the President to wait for a few more weeks to fire people without replacing them. What we thought was that him taking time to fire people meant that he was looking for a replacement. The fact that he is firing people especially Permanent Secretaries without replacing them, then we do believe that he wasted a lot of time in doing that. He should have done that in the beginning,” said Banda.
“So for PAC, we feel that the government is moving slowly in their appointments. I think they are trying to figure out how to do one or two things. By now they should have known the reforms that this government was going to bring in. Reforms which would ensure that even evidence that is purportedly to have been destroyed would have been protected, but what we are seeing is the opposite. What we are seeing is a situation where it seems that the UPND government is just trying to figure out how to do a lot of things. So we hope that as we go forward, we can see some level of energy to ensure that a lot of things start moving.”
Last Thursday, President Hakainde Hichilema admitted that some PF-aligned civil servants still serving in government were sabotaging a lot of things and could be destroying evidence but everything was being monitored closely.