UPND spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa says his party will not vouch for any member who takes part in corrupt activities, because the new dawn government wants to root out the vice.
In an interview, Mweetwa said President Hakainde Hichilema would not shield anyone accused of corruption in his government.
“As for corruption, you see corruption is done under the veil of darkness. The policy of the UPND under the President is to root out corruption in Zambia, to have zero tolerance for corruption. This is extremely important because it speaks to the policy of government of wanting to improve the business environment in the country. Corruption makes doing business expensive because you have to add in extra costs for you to have certain services accessed. So we think that when it comes to corruption, that is the party position, it is zero tolerance. But you know individuals in any government, there could be individuals who could be plying or trading in corrupt deals secretly for their own private advantage. For those, we cannot vouch for them, we vouch for a party position which the President has made very clear, zero-tolerance. I am pretty sure anyone who will be involved and it comes to the attention of the President, he will not shield anyone. There will be no sacred cow whatsoever, ” Mweetwa said.
He said no Minister accused of corruption would be given the privileges of a Minister.
“We do not expect to see what we used to see where someone has been summoned by the Anti Corruption [Commission], he is appearing, goes driving waving a government flag. Undergoes interviews, he is formally arrested by Anti Corruption and goes back in a government vehicle. Continues to carry out their job as Minister, the following day they are appearing in court in a government vehicle. People should not expect that under the leadership of HH, it is a whole different ball game. I know there are some people who could be thinking it is business as usual, my advice is that if you have such an attitude, it is at your own peril,” Mweetwa said.
And Mweetwa said UPND would not be an arrogant government.
“A government which is a creature of the people draws the authority of its mandate from the people. It is the people who create a government. So essentially like President HH has insisted, those elected in public office are servants of the people. There should be no point where a government begins to stop listening to the views of the people. I am pretty sure that this government will not be a government of arrogance, I am very pretty sure,” said Mweetwa.
“The President has spent too much time inculcating a sense of servitude, a sense of being servants of the people, subservient to the citizens. So I think that it has sunk in very well with those that the President is serving with both elected and unelected officials, senior government officials, I think we are singing from one hymn. Arrogance, there is only one outcome when you become arrogant in government, it is to be voted out by the people so that they put a government which is going to listen to the people.”