ARCHBISHOP Telesphore Mpundu says PF members being prosecuted for various corruption-related cases must not be cry babies, because anyone who breaks the law should pay for that.
In an interview, Archbishop Mpundu said if the accused felt they were being judged harshly, they could always appeal because Zambia had a fair justice system.
“Why are they cry babies? You cannot talk about unity when at the same time there is impunity. Why can’t those who are guilty come out and repent? They can say ‘I did something wrong and I need to be forgiven’. Even the sentence will be light but they are hanging. They have to be hunted. If they have to be hunted, then they have to be brought before the courts of law. This is not witch hunting because this is how it is supposed to be. Unity cannot come with impunity. People who have done wrong must be brought to book and they must pay. You cannot simply say ‘everyone is forgiven’. No. They have to pay for their crime and that is what the law says,” he said.
“That is what the rule of law is all about. You break the law, you pay for it. There has been a lot of misuse of public funds and facilities by the PF. Those who are guilty must be punished. You have to investigate and when they are proved to be guilty, they pay for it. Unity does not mean we forget the past. We cannot forget the past, it must be cleaned up. They should not be cry babies and say ‘we are being arrested but they are calling for unity’. What kind of unity is that when wrongs have been done and people who have been wronged are suffering? We have to be a country of laws. Anyone who breaks the law, without any exception from the highest must be prosecuted.”
Archbishop Mpundu insisted that people who had done wrong must be brought to book.
“Some of these PF people even now, they are saying, we are not completely finished and we are going to bring this government down. Isn’t that what they are saying? Unity does not mean impunity because the two are different. If you say we are bringing unity at the cost of impunity, then you are encouraging people into lawlessness. No one is above the law and no animal is more equal than others. People must be taught lessons, period. In fact, there are certain things that happened in the past and must be investigated but maybe we do not have enough money for that but things that happened as recent as possible must be investigated and wrong doers punished. That is not against unity,” said Archbishop Mpundu.
“Those who will corporate quickly and come forward, their punishment will be less severe than those who have refused to acknowledge that they committed a crime. So let the PF stop being cry-babies because Zambians want to be in a country of the rule of law. If they feel they are being persecuted, people can appeal. If you get a judgment that is unfair, you appeal. If it is wrongly done, you will be retrieved. They want to find a way of getting away with crime. We are not going to sacrifice the law abiding situation for unity which is not even there because of what was happening. Let them not be naïve. The rule must be established.”