MPOROKOSO PF member of parliament Brian Mundubile says there is need for law enforcement agencies to investigate all ministers alleged to be involved in corrupt activities.
Commenting on President Hakainde Hichilema’s remarks that a clique of criminals whom law enforcement agencies were currently pursuing had now started teaching his ministers and permanent secretaries how to siphon money meant for the poor,Tuesday, Mundubile said both the so called “clique” and Ministers were not immune to the law.
“The clique is not amenable to the law, it is not immune to the law. Why isn’t the tutor from the clique and the students from the new dawn government not facing the law? If he is convinced that is happening, what we expect to see now or in the near future is that the tutors and the students appear before the law. It will be interesting this time that it will not only be members of the clique that will be arrested but members of the new dawn government will also be arrested because it will be in the same transaction. So if at all the acts are happening, what we will expect to see is the law enforcement officers to move in,” he said.
“If the so called members of the clique are now teaching new ministers to do the wrong things, let the law take its course. Let the law enforcement officers move in swiftly so that they arrest the situation so that we don’t begin to chase after…If honourable Nakacinda, for using an idiom can be arrested, what about those that want to plunder public resources? Why should the law enforcement officers even wait? So I think that if there is anybody that is breaking the law, it does not matter whether they are from the clique or they are from the new dawn government, they have to face the law. All offenders, whether they are from the cliques or descendants of cliques or the new dawn government must face law going forward.”
And Mundubile argued that the use of the word “clique” to describe a certain group was dividing the country.
“For me, when you begin to categorise citizens when you are supposed to be uniting the nation is a source of worry. I think that there is no need to begin to categorize citizens. This is the time that Zambia must be united and those that are in government now must take time to unite the nation. We know who are normally referred to as a clique and I think that it does not help matters, it only further divides the nation whenever you refer to the clique. So let the Zambian citizens, whether they served in previous governments or whether they are serving in the current government, let them be treated equally. What we ask for [from] the President is that citizens must be treated equally. The issue of cliques must be avoided so that we bring unity to our nation. When you categorize citizens into cliques, descendants of cliques and so on, you are not uniting the nation,” Mundubile said.
Mundubile said PF was not against the corruption fight but the manner in which its members were being arrested.
“Our position has remained the same. We are saying we detest corruption, also, we have never supported corruption. For the record as the PF it was not mere rhetoric, we went ahead to change pieces of legislation, there were amendments, the ZPPA act to remove motivation for corruption, by amending the law that among other things introduced some price index, it introduced some capping on the price of the range of goods and services. This was a huge milestone. We further coined the Public Finance Management Act, to strengthen the law on erring public officers. These were all efforts to try and curb corruption in and before it happens,” Mundubile said.
“What we are against is the manner in which these arrests are being made to a point that we feel they are politically motivated. What has been happening is that people are picked and thrown in police cells without being arrested, without being charged and yet the criminal procedure code is very clear in section 33 that arrests should be for offences and not for inquiries. So what we have witnessed in the recent past leads us to the conclusion that these are politically motivated arrests. You have a good example of honourable Bowman Lusambo summoned by the ACC, he takes himself there and he is later handcuffed and thrown in a vehicle like a criminal. This is a person who is not a flight risk, he came on his own. He is detained without being charged. The same thing has happened to honourable Nakacinda on two occasions, honourable [Stephen] Kampyongo, honourable Davies Chama.”
He said there was selective application of law with regards to the arrest of opposition leaders.
“Let’s analyse events as they occur. What leads us to that conclusion is that similar offences are being treated differently. William Banda proposes violence in Kabwata, he is free, our colleagues on the Copperbelt go live on video proposing violence to harm Nakacinda, nobody has arrested them. Nakacinda holds one meeting and makes a political statement, ‘we hear that there is an investor that is coming and houses will be broken’, what it required there is just another politician, preferably a Minister to go and have a meeting at that same spot and say ‘some people are coming here cheating you that we are going to get these houses. I am here as a Minister to tell you that there is no such plan. If those people come, tell them that the Minister has assured us’,” he said.
“As the situation is now, there is no clarification, there is no rebuttal to that statement, instead Nakacinda has been arrested. The leaders in the UPND now said ZAFFICO had been sold, the airport had been sold, Zesco had been sold, was anybody picked by the police for propagating violence? We knew it was a political statement which could only be traversed by another political statement. That is what we did.”
Mundubile said the fight against corruption should be professionally handled.
“So it is one thing for the President to say they are not politically motivated but if you examine what is really happening, it leaves much to be desired. So we are not coming to those conclusions without reasons. We are saying if things are not politically motivated, firstly, the fight against corruption must be done professionally and without any interference. Secondly, they should not be targeted. So we are waiting to see them go into the due process properly,” said Mundubile.