FORMER home affairs deputy minister Colonel Panji Kaunda says he hopes President Hakainde Hichilema will act on any corrupt official in his government because there are no saints in politics.
In an interview, Thursday, Col Kaunda observed that it was difficult to fight corruption if the leader was compromised and benefitted from corrupt people.
“Corruption is in human beings, there is no saint in politics. The key is the leader. If the leader leads by example, he has the power to punish those that are corrupt. If the leader is compromised and eats money from those that are corrupt, then we have problems. I’m praying a lot that our new President doesn’t need money, doesn’t need a salary. So I think he will focus his energy and everything, for example, his ministers, anybody in government who misbehaves with corruption, I have no doubt, even in the civil service if servants misbehave, he will act. This is my hope and wish,” he said.
“Corruption is everywhere all over the world. What is important is the measures to take against those who are corrupt. Even in my former government UNIP, there was corruption. The administration was committed and did their jobs firmly. They investigated anybody, all of us including myself were investigated. There was no holy cow in the UNIP government. If you were corrupt, you were publicly told so.”
Meanwhile, Col Kaunda urged Zambians to be patient with investigative wings, saying fighting criminals was a difficult task.
“There was no policy from the PF to fight corruption. If anything, they were inviting corruption from the top. A change of government has brought fresh air, not only to the Zambians but even to the investigative wings. Meaning they are now more free and able to do what their profession allows them to do. What has happened now is a bit of fresh air and what I require from Zambians is just to be patient,” said Col Kaunda.
“Fighting criminals is a very difficult task. If they have been doing this for the last 10 years, it’s going to take a bit of time to discover some of the things that have been stolen from the people of Zambia. I ask patience from the Zambians and let the investigative wings do their work. I’m not doubting, it was going to be impossible. They had no agenda to fight corruption, if anything they were setting corruption.”