…he unleashed his bulldogs; ACC, DEC but no plunder case in court – Bowman

By Kombe Mataka

FORMER Lusaka Province minister Bowman Lusambo says the UPND’s fight against corruption has hit a rock.

Lusambo told The Mast that it was confusing for President Hakainde Hichilema to set up the economic and financial crimes court but still extend amnesty to those who he said had plundered the country’s resources.

“Let us put aside our egos and call a spade a spade. Unity is not only by mouth. Unity is accompanied by deeds. You can’t unite when on the other hand one is whipping others for no apparent reason,” he said.

“The President told us PF plundered State resources in this country. When you say PF plundered you need to have information on your table and you need to know the persons that plundered. The President unleashed all his bulldogs: police, ACC (Anti-Corruption Commission), FIC (Financial Intelligence Centre) and DEC (Drug Enforcement Commission) on us, but today there is no case in court indicating that someone plundered resources. What we are seeing is persecution.”

Lusambo said the UPND government had failed to operationalise fast track courts and were now calling for amnesty.

“The President said we need a fast-track court. The Ministry of Health officials were supposed to be the first ones to appear but the President came to parliament and said amnesty. He is just contradicting himself. You can give amnesty to a person whom you have seen he/she had so much. ‘We will let you go’ but how can you say amnesty when you have fast track courts?” he wondered.

“My conclusion is just that the President has hit the rocks. He has hit the rocks. The people who are handling corruption cases let them not excite the President. Let them tell the President the truth. Let them tell the truth. We know that they are in government and have machinery to harass us but it won’t take them anywhere. Zambians want to develop.”

Lusambo said Zambians could not be deceived while reminding the UPND government of the engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“He [President Hichilema] can fool people who don’t know him. I know him very well. Those are plastic smiles. If they make mistakes, they must be able to apologise,” said Lusambo. “By the way, let us not forget the issue of IMF. We are back after the national mourning.”

Recently, addressing parliament on “progress made on the application of national values and principles”, President Hichilema said his government would not falter in the fight against corruption but would be patient.

He noted that the government had established the Financial and Economic Crimes Court to expedite the disposal of corruption cases.

“Fast-track courts, this government will not falter in the fight against corruption but we will be patient. We will follow the due process of the law, absolutely. There will be no sacred cow, Madam Speaker, in this fight against corruption. We must all declare war against corruption. This is important because I have followed the Leader of Government Business in the House, our Honourable Vice-President [Mutale Nalumango] said it once or twice or more in this House. Let me emphasise this, we encourage those who engaged in corruption to voluntarily come forward and pay back to society what they took,” urged President

Hichilema. “Madam Speaker, we encourage those who engaged in corruption, and they are many, to voluntarily come forward and pay back to society what they took away rather than parroting themselves as victims. Madam Speaker, it is wise to do so than to wait for the inevitable, which is prosecution, and the resultant consequences. We must work hard and be firm against any unethical misconduct in both private and public lives. And Madam Speaker, what I said about coming forward is within the law. Well, if you don’t come forward, the decision has been taken to name and shame and it will happen. But that is not our intent, our intent is to recover in a civilised way.”


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