PF national chairperson Davies Chama says it is comforting that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has tried to clear the air about several accusations against former president Edgar Lungu.

Recently, ACC acting director-general Silumesi Muchula said the commission had not come across anything that touches on Lungu in all the matters which had so far been investigated.

And in an interview, Chama said PF was delighted that the ACC had the courage to speak out about such an issue.

“If you have any issues and you choose to tarnish people’s names in public, it is not correct. If you have facts, take the information to investigative wings that will follow up an individual so that people are properly cleared. Now that the ACC has spoken, for us it is quite comforting that the institution has spoken about several accusations about the former president. We are delighted that they have the courage to speak out. He probably spoke about it because he was questioned and he decided to clear names of people on which they do not have facts. That is the way it should be,” he said.

Chama said it must be a time of reflection for those with a tendency of calling everybody thieves when they had not presented facts before the courts of law.

“Now that President Hakainde Hichilema is President, he finds it very offensive to be criticised and to be called names. Do you see how life is? People must be respected when in office and when they leave office. This is the way we should conduct ourselves as decent human beings rather than just saying ‘a clique of thieves’. This is basically insulting people who have ruled this country from the time of independence. It must be a time of reflection to our colleagues who have a tendency of calling everybody thieves and thugs when they have not presented those facts in the courts of law. So it is good that the ACC has tried to come out to clear the air on some of these insinuations that have been peddled that people are so corrupt,” he said.

“And I do not know why people say someone is corrupt just because an individual has built a house. For your information, we spend our lives differently. Whilst we earn our income, we spend money differently. I was a Minister and member of parliament. Other people the way they spend their money, they are always at the bar at Parliament whilst Parliament is sitting. They are always drinking. While Parliament is sitting, they are at the bar drinking. Whilst others do not drink and invest in blocks as they build. At the end of the day, you all get a salary and others spend on wasteful things. Maybe they entertain themselves while others invest.”

Chama said he found it weird that Zambians celebrated poverty by questioning anyone who had built a house.

“We are calling people who have built houses thieves but how much is a block? So to build a mansion is not something you can tell somebody that he has stolen. The same people who are calling other people thieves have built bigger mansions. So I find it a bit weird that we are celebrating poverty and everyone who has been trying to invest to live a different life as long as you held office, you stole. You want to brand everyone who was in leadership that they are thieves. That is not the way for us to run the country,” Chama said.

“In Zambia, I do not know if that is the way to pull down your opponents so that you put them in bad light while you shine in public. One day, you will be called the same things and it is happening right now to President Hichilema. For him, he is even finding it offensive and arresting people. When you are President you will be called names and sometimes you will be insulted. And following the comments that have been about the conference and how he came out describing other people that have maybe attacked him or competing with him in the political arena, as offensive, I do not know what type of a President we have and it is quite scary.”

Chama said it was commendable that investigative wings still had people of integrity who could be professional and state facts as they were.

“It is good that they are being truthful. We have also heard other statements, whether true or not, another official from ACC was insinuating that there is a political hand that is pushing most of these cases as they are following up the Patriotic Front and other officials. This is unfortunate. But it is good that we still have people of integrity who can be professional and be able to come out and state facts as they are. You cannot manipulate everybody. People must be truthful instead of being influenced by people who do not mean well. Every investigative organ of the country must be truthful and factual. This propensity of trying to tarnish the image of people using politics or just playing to the gallery is unfortunate and must not be condoned,” said Chama.

“Tomorrow it can be you so how can you feel? It is already showing [that] the new dawn government is in authority and Hakainde Hichilema is now President. When he was in opposition, he used to call people in government a lot of names and he was not arrested on that basis. Even things that bordered on issues of security of the state, he was issuing statements that he received security details from Zambia intelligence service and he was never arrested. Today, people who make statements even if they are not insulting, if you interpret those words as being offensive, they are arresting people. Honourable [Raphael] Nakacinda has been arrested on a statement that is not insulting.”