ACTING PF national chairperson Davies Chama has lamented that it’s unfair to label all those who served in Edgar Lungu’s government as thieves, warning that the UPND will also be given the same name once they leave office.
Commenting on Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Bwalya’s remarks that the UPND government’s collective objective was to ensure that all those who participated in the looting of resources were held accountable, Chama said concrete evidence of the alleged corruption should be availed to law enforcement agencies if it was available.
“The problem I have is that when you insinuate that people have stolen, where have they stolen from? Because when you steal there must be somewhere you have stolen from. They should give valid concrete evidence that money moved from account A to account B. When you say people looted, what did they loot? If Bwalya from State House who is representing the President says ‘looters must pay’, that is why people are insinuating that probably that there is a hand from State House which is instructing the institutions of government, maligning people who are innocent that so and so has stolen or every minister has stolen or everyone who was in the previous government of president Edgar Lungu has stolen,” he said in an interview, Monday.
“If they have that evidence, they should be able to give it to those security institutions. Now that they are in office they have all the documentation of what transpired. If somebody moved money from somewhere which is government money to his own account, they should have that information rather than saying ‘looters must pay’, which looter?”
Chama said it was unfair to label former PF ministers as corrupt, adding that the UPND would also be called thieves once they leave government.
“Now that they are in government, can we be saying that they are also stealing? That is why our vice president (Given) Lubinda gave a metaphor that the price of road construction was costing $1 million per kilometre during our time, now for them, it was going to cost 1.8 million per kilometre. It is not fair, we should not be labeling each other that we are thieves. Even themselves, are [they] thieves now that they are Ministers, now that they are in State House? It is not fair, it is not correct. Once they leave they will also be called thieves. Will it be fair for them? There must be decency in the way we do our politics,” he said.
“Even when you want to win people’s support by calling innocent people that they have stolen and yet they have not stolen anything, it is not fair. This is the problem I have, calling other people thieves or all those who served in president Lungu as thieves without providing any evidence, it is not correct and it is not fair. Ministers are not thieves, there is nothing to steal, there are a lot of checks and balances which are in government that if you steal it will show. These politics is dirty politics that we do in Africa, which is very retrogressive, it will not take us anywhere. We will not develop as a country. If anything, it will retard at the rate at which we are going to move as a nation. It will just cause a lot of division which is unnecessary witch hunt and they are wasting their energy. Let them mention who stole.”
Chama said people no longer trust politicians because of the continued insinuations that they were thieves.
“The scenario of calling anyone a thief, every contract someone is a thief, this level of suspicion is uncalled for. That is why things are not moving. People cannot even process payments. That is not the way you run government, that is how they want to run government themselves thinking that everyone who is in government is a thief, that is why people are not trusting any politician. This is what saddens me because politicians are not being trusted. Any contract they sign, they are being accused that they have eaten, there is corruption involved. If you are corrupt yourself, if you are a thief, you will see a thief everywhere, if your character is wrong, if you are a prostitute you think everyone is a prostitute,” said Chama.