PF member of the central committee Paul Moonga says the UPND government will spend five years looking for thieves instead of developing the country if they’re not careful,.

In an interview, Moonga said “yes, people stole, let us be arrested and there is no problem but they must be sure of what they are doing”.

“Under Mwanawasa, I doubt if anyone even went to prison for their recovery process over the alleged proceeds of crime where Mutembo Nchito was lead prosecutor. Mainza Chona was the chairman for the task force on corruption, how many corrupt people went to prison? How much money was spent on that task force at the expense of the Zambian people? And if they will not be careful, they will spend five years looking for people who stole, instead of developing Zambia, they will be just looking for criminals,” he said.

“Let them implement projects and let the Zambian people appreciate why they are in government. I can rest assure you that Hakainde Hichilema would be hoodwinked in the name of looking for criminals. Time will be up and by 2026, it will be too late. Yes, people stole, let us be arrested and there is no problem but they must be sure of what they are doing. In the past, if people were arrested after the task force for corruption was formed, what percentage was it? It is very low and we might go the same route.”

He said not everyone with nice houses used proceeds of crime to build them.

“The government of the day must also accept and respect the previous governments. People are saying Edgar Lungu is an institution on its own because he is a former head of state. All those trying to rubbish him do not know about their ignorance. So I am saying to the government that please open your eyes otherwise the country will be divided. If people stole, let them face the law. If you just see a nice house then you start saying ‘this must be proceeds of crime’, no. We cannot accept that and we cannot all live in ramshackle because Zambia will not develop. We need young men and women who will develop good structures,” he said.

“So I hope there will be fair judgement in all these cases because our judicial system is good. I do not doubt our judicial system. But it will be so shameful for the UPND led government to take [Given] Lubinda to court on premises that he has nice houses and nothing comes out of these cases and others. Should all MPs and Ministers come out of office as beggars? Is that what we want as Zambians? The answer is no. These are dignified men and women who served the country diligently.”

Moonga said law enforcement agencies needed to pursue real cases and be able to distinguish thieves.

“We live in a poor country with poor minds and poor thinking. It is very difficult to understand human beings. Under Mwanawasa, the so-called proceeds of crime started. If you come to my farm which I got in 1988 at 30 years old and you ask me how I got that farm, it will be difficult for me to explain. You will just arrest me and take me to prison. In Zambia, if you have a nice house, you are a thief and if you live in a poor house in Chibolya, you are okay. Is that normal? So anybody with good property, those are proceeds of crime. So investigative wings should come with evidence and not ask me where I got my house. I call it total nonsense. Let us go for real cases. Do you know the biggest culprits? They are not politicians but civil servants,” said Moonga.

“The PS at education is not even in charge of promotions, it is the Local Government Commission, but they will heap every blame to the Minister of Education when anything goes wrong. Even Minister Gary Nkombo is even innocent about the transfer of civil servants in the Ministry of Local Government. Having $10,000 in Zambia has now become a criminal offence. What is $10,000? Because in a rich country that money is nothing but in a poor country everyone would think you are a thief because you are rich. Even driving a V8 in Lusaka, it alarms the nation. So all this nonsense is just called proceeds of crime. I am not defending Given Lubinda but all I am saying is we should be able to distinguish who a thief is.”