DR. MAGWENDE IS AN HONOURABLE MAN, A PROFESSION WITH INTEGRITY-FRED M’MEMBE
YES, DR MAGWENDE IS CLOSE TO ME
There has been some ceaseless media reports that Dr George Magwende has been fired from his job as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health because of his connection or association with me.
It cannot be denied that Dr Magwende has been been very close to me for many years, going back to 1992 when he entered Medical School here in Lusaka. I can say he has been a brother and Comrade of mine for many years.
And the Dr Magwende I know is very different from the one who is being summoned to the ACC.
The Dr Magwende I know is an absolutely incorruptible man, an honest and selfless human being. This is a man who has undertaken very risky humanitarian assignments in Mozambique and Malawi when those sister nations were hit by floods in the early 2000s. The Dr Magwende I know is a doctor who I had asked to go to eastern Congo in 2000 to take care of the ill brothers and sisters in response to request from President Laurent Kabila. All this was for no pay.
The Dr Magwende I know is one who responded favourably to my request to help President Hakainde Hichilema and ensure his health and safety when he was incarcerated at Mukobeko Maximum Prison where Dr Magwende was the Head of Health Services and the only active medical officer. And Dr Magwende paid a very high price doing this – he was fired from his job.
And here we are talking about a very young man with very young children and a young wife being jobless. I am talking about a trained officer with the discipline of a loyal lieutenant.
I have no doubt whatsoever that Dr Magwende cannot engage in the abuses that are being insinuated and bandied around. If anything, Dr Magwende can only be victimised for his integrity – inability to do wrong things and his courage to say no to wrong schemes.
And if he had done something wrong as a serving Civil Servant, what measures were taken to charge him and hear his side of the story? By being fired, Dr Magwende has been investigated, charged, tried and judged by the President, and has been found guilty. With these happenings, what would be expected of the ACC? To disagree with the President’s verdict?
This is certainly not the best way to treat other human beings. Yes, corruption must be resolutely fought, but it must be fought in a just, fair and humane manner.
President of the Socialist Party