CHIEF Government Spokesperson Chushi Kasanda says Zambia’s score on the Corruption Perception Index will improve under the UPND government.
And Kasanda says PF should not complain about the ongoing investigations because high offices attract probing and criticism.
Commenting on Zambia’s CPI score of 33 in an interview, Kasanda said UPND would not tolerate corruption internally and externally.
“I think the score so far is good, looking at the fact that this is a transparent government and also looking at the fact that from the President’s pronouncements, it has been very clear that this government wants to fight corruption and that it has zero tolerance to corruption. So, I think the score is even going to get better with the new dawn government, looking at the fact that we will not tolerate any corruption whatsoever; whether within ourselves or externally. I think corruption knows no boundaries, so that is what the new dawn government is all about. So you will see the score even get better as we go along,” she said.
“What we want to assure as a government is that all these [investigative] wings will remain independent, there will be no political hand in it. There will be no other hand in it, it will be strictly independent. We will not interfere as the government. I will take you back to the President, that is exactly what the President said ‘do not interfere’, and we will not interfere in any means whatsoever as a government. We want them to work independently, we want them to work professionally.”
She said PF members should not complain about the ongoing investigations.
“Corruption will certainly be dealt with, just like I have said, it doesn’t matter who is involved, if I am involved, the law will take its course. So like we have seen of late, the bickering that is going around that we are only targeting the PF, that is not correct! That is not correct, if they are the ones who have wronged the law, they will face the law, it doesn’t matter who is involved. If the UPND is involved in corruption, they will face the wrath of the law. It doesn’t matter who is involved. And besides what they are forgetting, when you hold a high office, you always attract investigations, when you hold a high office, you will always attract criticism. So even if I am in office today, if I do something wrong, it doesn’t matter whether I am in the ruling party, the law should take its course. So if you have been found wanting because you are out there it does not mean we are targeting you, it is the law taking its course,” she said.
“So, even Chushi Kasanda today, if I am found wanting, the law should take its course, it doesn’t matter which side I belong. This is an interest for the Zambians, it is not an interest for Hakainde Hichilema, it is not an interest for the new dawn government, it is the interest of the people that is why they kicked them out because the Zambians knew what they had done. So it is surprising that they look surprised or they feel surprised that they are now being followed up. They are being followed up for the crimes they committed. You can’t follow someone who hasn’t followed a crime, if you haven’t committed a crime why should the law follow you.”
And Kasanda said discussions with stakeholders on the enactment of the Access to Information Bill had reached an advanced stage and that the bill was expected to be presented in Parliament in the next sitting.
“Actually, that is what we are looking at, we already started holding meetings. We are having a stakeholders’ meeting this Thursday. So we are actually looking at bringing it into Parliament. It is something that we are working on and I think it is reaching its advanced stage,” said Kasanda.