YOTAM Mtayachalo says all public officers mentioned in the Financial Intelligence Centre report must resign. The former National Energy Sector and Allied Workers Union general secretary said yesterday that the figures mentioned in the report were not only frightening but unprecedented. He asked President Edgar Lungu to rise to the occasion and take a decisive action by sending all the named officials on forced leave if they could not step down on their own.
“First and foremost I want to join other progressive forces in demanding for the immediate resignation of all public officers who have been mentioned in the Financial Intelligence Centre’s report in which more than K6 billion of public funds have allegedly been lost through illicit deals in order to facilitate thorough investigations over the matter,” he said in a statement.
“The figures as reviewed in the report during the year under review are not only frightening but also unprecedented in the history of the country. Therefore, the most honourable thing these named individuals may do is to make the work of the President lighter or easier by resigning on moral grounds so that investigative wings of government can further probe these allegations.”
Mtayachalo said resigning would accord an opportunity for those who are innocent to be cleared of any wrongdoing while those found wanting must be punished severely so that it can serve as a deterrent to would be offenders.
He said corruption was a very serious cancer which must not be fought with kid gloves because it undermines economic development and the fight against poverty.
Mtayachalo said it was very unfortunate that the allegations were coming out in the midst of a rapidly failing economy.
“It is an open secret that the government is struggling to meet its financial obligations. In fact, as I’m talking, many workers have not yet been paid their salaries. Some farmers have also not received their money for the maize they supplied to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) while government suppliers and contractors including retirees are still languishing without getting their pensions on time just to mention but a few when the few individuals are allegedly looting public resources with impunity,” he said.
“It is in light of the foregoing that I want to call upon His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr Edgar Lungu to rise to the occasion and take a decisive action by sending all the named officials on forced leave if they can’t step down on their own voluntarily.”
Mtayachalo urged the President to consider appointing an elite task force on corruption comprising officers from the Zambia Police, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Zambia Intelligence Security Services (ZISS) respectively to probe the allegations of suspected plunder of public resources.
“Furthermore, should the President not take any decisive action in regard to these serious corruption allegations levelled against some public officers, then I would like to earnestly appeal to the Church, the labour movement, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the students movement, traditional leaders and patriotic Zambians to equally rise to the occasion and demand justice for all those mentioned in the Financial Intelligence report without further delay because I believe that Zambians have been taken for a ride for too long and time to act is now,” said Mtayachalo.