PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu should not fall prey to crooks who hide behind the corruption crusade to amass wealth illegally and exact political vengeance, civil rights activist Brebner Changala has warned.
“They are using the corruption crusade to shield themselves from their corruption and abuse of political power from leaders they held captive,” he said.
Mr. Changala said Zambians should not forget the trials and tribulations suffered by the late Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mukelabai Mukelabai who was accused by the crooks of wrongdoing.
‘‘The man died in exile even after he was found innocent, these people are heartless,’’ he said.
He charged the same people were the architects of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with foreign countries that targeted citizens with fraudulent corruption charges. They benefitted financially while destroying the lives of innocent people.
This memorandum was funded by foreigners to ensure the prosecution and conviction of Zambian citizens in a selective manner.
“These people now want to launch more hate and smear campaigns. These gangsters protested when former president Frederick Chiluba was acquitted but when Finance Bank owner Rajan Mahtani had his cases dropped by President Sata, no word of protest was heard,” said Mr. Changala.
Any talk of corruption, he said, should start by an inquiry into the theft and abuse of funds in the former Task Force against corruption.
“There is evidence that money was stolen and sequestrated resources abused,” he said
Mr. Changala said it was unfortunate for the group to use the fight against corruption to abuse and undermine innocent people just because they were perceived to be their political opponents. “This must be stopped for they have been exposed. It has become clear now that it is the corrupt individuals who are in the forefront calling others corrupt and they have made a fortune out of the corruption crusade.
“They have again started labeling others corrupt, tribalists and criminals. That has been their way of diverting people’s attention from their own mischievous conduct and actions,” he said.
Mr. Changala has challenged the group to report the corrupt elements they were talking about to police rather than scandalizing innocent people.
“This is the reason why they are now demanding that President Lungu should state his position on the fight against corruption; they want to drag him into their personal fight and give it a political dimension and will against their perceived political enemies. I have to remind the people of Zambia and President Lungu that the same group has no desire to fight corruption because it is an equally corrupt and divisive group of individuals whose respect for the rule of law is highly questionable,” said Mr. Changala.
In an interview yesterday, Mr. Changala questioned the position taken by Transparency International Zambia (TIZ), Forum for Development and Democracy (FDD) and Forum for Democratic Alternatives (FDA) suggesting that President Edgar Lungu should not drop Mr. Banda’s court cases.
He challenged Ms. Nawakwi, Dr. Sondashi and Mr. Goodwel Lungu of TIZ to explain why they were silent when the late President Michael Sata dropped all court cases against Finance Bank owner Rajan Mahtani after forming Government in 2011 when the courts of law had found him and others with cases to answer.
Mr. Changala questioned why Ms. Nawakwi, Mr. Lungu and Dr. Sondashi were quick to protest about something that had not yet happened in the case of the former president.
He said their action was borne out of hatred for former President Banda.
“Today TIZ is talking about President Lungu not dropping RB’s issues in court. Where were they the time late President Sata dropped criminal cases against Finance Bank owner Rajan Mahtani? Where were Madam Nawakwi and FDD when President Sata dropped Mr. Mahtani’s cases after he was found with a case to answer by the courts of law? Where was Dr. Sondashi for him to stand up today and target former president Banda in the manner he has spoken against him?” wondered Mr. Changala.
He said the degree of hatred Ms. Nawakwi, Mr. Sondashi and TIZ officials have exhibited against Mr. Banda was frightening and should stop.
Mr. Changala said president Banda like any other Zambian was entitled to a fair trial or presidential pardon at any stage of the case, and for certain individuals to start inciting some politicians and the civil society to protest against any favours showed to the former head of State was unfortunate.
“The law must be applied fairly and equally. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. It is President Lungu in his own wisdom who can exercise his executive powers to drop cases against the former head of State if the matter is considered political for the sake of national unity and the stability of Government,” said Mr. Changala. He said the group behind the scheme had done the same with former president Frederick Chiluba whom they labeled corrupt without proper evidence before the courts of law.
“This is just a group of people who don’t like RB and want him out.
They did it against the late FTJ and they have become serial killers and I want to urge the people of Zambia to read the (former Director of Public Prosecutions) Mukelebai Mukelebai tribunal report findings.
Zambians will find that the same people who are scheming against RB were the same people behind that tribunal and now they have made it their mandate to undermine Government. These are the same people behind the failed Judge Chikopa tribunal and are the same people behind the persecution of RB. Is that just a coincidence?” asked Mr. Changala.