THE rampant theft of confidential files and leakage of secret information by officials and intelligence systems will affect Government operations and should be curtailed forthwith, public leaders have warned.
And senior journalist Cyrus Kapeso has observed that the quality of information published in the media showed very high intelligence collusion
“These people have deep inside information which they procure from their privileged positions in their work,” he said.
Former minister of Home Affairs Lameck Mangani said no Government could operate without confidentiality.
It has emerged that many classified files and other correspondence were being stolen from Government and given to unauthorized individuals.
Mr Mangani said civil servants leaking confidential and classified Government documents to unauthorized non-public service workers were committing subversion and should be fired from the civil service.
He said the presence of moles in Government was a danger not only to the system but the society at large and they should not be entertained.
Mr Mangani said in an interview yesterday that if leakages of confidential documents were not curtailed, there would be far-reaching consequences such as bringing down the present Government and the future ones.
“Moles are a danger to any Government. What is the motive of selling information to unauthorised individuals? Why sell information?
“That is subversion and it is an offence or criminal act. Such people should not be entertained. They will make Government fall, whether today it is PF Government or the other day maybe another government, if you have such type of people they will make government fall,” he said.
Mr Mangani said he was shocked that the correspondence by Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda and President Edgar Lungu was heavily quoted in the Post Newspapers.
He, however, said that there was nothing wrong with Mr Chikwanda to propose something important to President Lungu to improve operations at Zesco.
“I was shocked that correspondence of the minister could be quoted word for word; it was shocking, I couldn’t believe it myself. But it is normal for the minister to write to the President on matters that they feel can injure Government or improve Government. It is normal,” he said.
Mr Mangani said Government should not employ people who could not handle sensitive matters.
He said police and other relevant authorities must follow up the matter and investigate so that culprits were prosecuted.
He said it was very easy for the police to follow up the matter and know who was behind the leakage of documents and commence investigations. “If it is a leakage of correspondence between the President and a particular minister we should be able to tell who leaked it because we know who typed the letter, who sent it and who received it at State House. We can follow it and find out where the leakage is, then we can find the culprit. I don’t know why it is becoming very difficult to do so,” he said.
Mr Mangani said the police could not work in isolation but need support of other officers in Government to arrest the practice.
He said it would not help this country if people kept quiete while culprits continued to leak important documents to unauthorized individuals and organisations.
“Right now people like the opposition can celebrate, but it is dangerous. Any government operates on secrecy and if you break that line and say everything is for open discussion, the whole system of Government collapses,” he said.
Mr Mangani said people who take oath of secrecy should respect it and keep allegiance to the appointing authority, adding that those who were not loyal were not fit to be in the civil service.