PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu should not be forced to direct the fight against corruption because as Head of State, he has institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) which have the mandate to lead the fight against the scourge, Paradius Sakala has observed.
Mr Sakala, who is Patriotic Front (PF) Kapoche losing candidate in the 2011 general elections, has appealed to President Lungu to clean up investigative wings such as ACC and DEC because some of the senior officers were not appointed on merit but on the basis of appeasement and aquintances by some former leaders in Government.
Mr Sakala said he was not surprised that some individuals and institutions were insinuating that President Lungu had not committed himself to fight corruption because they wanted the Head of State to continue pursuing a route that was highly vengeful and retributive against citizens perceived to be political opponents of a clique that enjoyed State power.
He said late president Michael Sata was told a lot of lies about certain senior citizens who were later arrested but that nothing had come out of their prosecution because they did not commit the offences they were accused of.
Mr Sakala said a clique of individuals that enjoyed State power in president Sata’s Government were the architect of lies and fabrications against selected citizens and forced the former head of state to decree that the ACC and DEC should only investigate corruption case against ministers with his expression permission.
He observed that of the many people who were accused of corruption, no one had been convicted and the fight against corruption had been turned into an instrument of settling scores against perceived political opponents.
He said President Lungu was not going to use State House to settle political scores and that was why he had made it clear that his time as President was short and he would want to give the best to Zambians.
“President Edgar Lungu will not use State House to pursue perceived political opponents and this culture of forcing the Head of State to use the fight against corruption to settle scores should end.
Zambians have not forgotten that a clique of individuals who enjoyed State Power told president Sata a lot of lies about selected senior citizens and most of them were arrested and no one has been convicted.
The ACC and DEC are there to help the President in the fight against corruption but these institutions are currently compromised because some of the senior officers were merely appointed on the basis of appeasement and acquaintances.
I appeal to President Lungu to clean up these institutions,” Mr Sakala said.
He said those accusing President Lungu of not being committed to fight corruption had unsettled bills with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and other Government statutory bodies and were ready to hide their economic iniquities through innuendoes and insinuations.
Mr Sakala said the President was not going to stand on the rooftop and declare that he abhors corruption but that his actions had so far demonstrated that he was focused and determined to fight the scourge without listening to people whose record had been dented by illegal activities.
“President Lungu brings jubilee leadership which is about the rule of law. State House is not going to be an extension of the ACC, DEC or a venue where government contracts can be shared.
ACC, DEC and the police were created to help Government and the President to govern and he is not going to demean his office by directing who should be investigated or arrested.
President Lungu is not going to govern by decree but by consensus which is what Zambians want. We know who owes ZRA and that is the team that can easily frustrate the fight against corruption,” Mr Sakala said.