CHIEF government spokesperson Chushi Kasanda says UPND has the best strategy for fighting corruption, arguing that government is being methodical to avoid filling up cells with innocent people.
And Kasanda says all ministers are putting in their best and working towards actualising President Hakainde Hichilema and the party’s vision.
Reacting to governance activist Reuben Lifuka’s remarks that UPND was sending mixed signals in the fight against corruption as they did not seem to understand the full magnitude of the problem, Kasanda argued that government had the best strategy to fight the vice.
“I think the President has outlined the strategy. We do not want to arrest people and find them not guilty. So we are being methodical in the way we are doing things. Meaning we have to go through thorough investigations before somebody can be brought to book. Imagine if we live on rumours like when somebody says Mwenya has stolen 20 vehicles and we just pounce on you without any investigations. You have the right to sue us so that is why it is important that we go through the right procedures and that investigations are done before we can pounce on somebody. I think that is what is important. The President was very clear when he said he does not want people to just be arrested for the sake of it,” she said.
“That is why he is calling on the people and saying to them ‘if you know you have taken, before the law follows you, bring those assets back to the people and not to the President’. So there is a strategy and I think that is the best strategy if you ask me because we do not want to have cells filled up with innocent people. I think what is important for us is that Zambians need to be patient. The person in the driver’s seat who is President Hakainde Hichilema means well for the people. It irks him as well to find an empty treasury and it irks him to see what the country has been left at. So by virtue of that, he wants to make sure he gets back the money that belongs to Zambia.”
Kasanda said UPND wanted to do things correctly unlike in the past.
“I know the process is slow and that it is going to take a little bit of time but eventually we will get there. We do not mean to just persecute people for the sake of it. That is not the reason we are in government. We have got to do things correctly. We do not want to do things the way our colleagues did them in the past. When I buy a Vitz they will come and say how did Chushi buy a Vitz? So just put her in cells. That is not the way we want to work as the UPND. We want to bring back the rule of law by also being fair and doing things correctly, especially for those that we hear stole until we prove that. That is the only time the law can take its course,” Kasanda said.
And Kasanda said it was unfortunate that people were being impatient with the UPND government in terms of service delivery when they were not criticising PF for 10 years.
She added that citizens needed to give government time to unveil what it had in store for the people.
“I do not think we have a problem in looking at the performance of Ministers. All I can say is that every Minister is putting in their best. There is no Minister that would be appointed and sit back and not do the right thing. Everybody is putting in their best and besides that, we know what the vision of the UPND is. We are UPND Ministers by the way. By virtue of us being Ministers, that does not distance us from our party. So we are UPND Ministers. We know the vision of the party and the President. We are all working towards that. It is just that people are so impatient. What people need to realise is that let them look at the seven months that we have been in office and let them look at the 10 years when PF was in office,” said Kasanda.
“We have done so many things that are unprecedented compared to what the PF did in 10 years. I know that probably when we say give us time, they will ask how much time you need. But PF was given 10 years and nobody was talking. People only spoke during the general elections. What we have seen is that in 10 years people were not criticising PF but in seven months everybody is criticising the UPND. It is very unfortunate. I think let them give us time for us to unveil what we have for the people of Zambia. I am aware we had campaign promises and we are working towards that. The major one was to fight corruption and bring back the rule of law. People are now free in Zambia.”