By Lulumbi Nakazwe
CHARLES Milupi says Zambia is sinking because it has been turned into a one-man show where the President is left to do everything.
In an interview, Milupi, the Alliance for Democracy and Development leader, said President Edgar Lungu had been left to do as he pleased.
“Even the courts now or law enforcement agencies, if you are part of them, you are not doing anything wrong. It’s only when you come out, that’s when we hear of your corruption. But in the meantime, the country is sinking. So, to say that he has been receiving reports of corruption [of his minister], where is the law enforcement? Everybody is starving, everybody is hurting in this country because of the economy and these who have their hands in the till are getting fat, creating ministries and more people are coming in so that the President can pay them back for what they did to get him into that chair,” Milupi said.
He said Zambians were looking to the courts to act in a manner that could heal the nation by being seen to uphold the rule of law and pass judgments that were fair.
“What we have seen on these political cases is absolute scandal of the worst kind. The smell, the stench that has come out of the Constitutional Court will remain in this country for a very long time and people will write about it,” Milupi said. “That’s the legacy that these who are in power have left for this country. We have total disrespect for the electoral process because of what has happened.”
And Milupi said President Edgar Lungu should be praising the opposition for talking about corruption in his administration instead of complaining.
“You cannot fight corruption if you are the beneficiary of corruption. When we talk about corruption, they say we are bitter and jealous. Now he has seen it for himself. He should admit that we were right all along. The PF government and the President…if you look at your campaign for the just-ended general elections, PF party is a poor party like ADD and any other political party. But if you look at how they poured out the money…even here where they did not get any votes, everywhere you go, people are wearing their T-shirts and chitenges. This simply means that campaign material was being given anyhow and everywhere,” Milupi said.
“We know which country printed the T-shirts and the chitenges. We can also talk about this election where there was so much impropriety that occurred, where people knew they did not win but they took certain actions to ensure that they keep hanging on to power. Those that participated in that scheme, why did they do that? Was it to save Zambians or they did it so that they can continue to have their noses in their feeding troughs and their fingers in the honey jar? He (President Lungu) allowed them to participate in things like that and now they are holding him at ransom because it is now payback time.”
He said President Lungu’s friends wanted ministerial positions so that they could have access to national resources and contracts.
“To come at this stage and say ‘no! I am aware that some ministers are involved in corruption and that I am going to take action’; to me that means you are not committed to fighting corruption because if you are committed, the moment that occurs, you are the appointing authority, action should have been taken and when people ask why, that’s when you tell them. Not only do you fire them, you get the police, the law enforcement officers to follow the matter up because once you have broken the law, restitution is not just about being fired, it is being answerable to the courts of law,” Milupi said.
He said the fight against corruption did not require grandstanding or public relations exercises but a resolute stance.
“We are not seeing that. They will continue to grandstand and it is not in the interest of this country. The fight against corruption in Zambia at the moment, because of this politicisation, is not there. What is there is the use of law enforcement agencies to criminalise and punish those who are failing to toe the line politically. If any of the ministers steps out of line, you will hear about their corruption. But as long as they sing the praises and so on, they are angels,” said Milupi, adding that it was clear there were many things happening that the system was covering up.