MMD spokesperson Dora Siliya has appealed to the Patriotic Front (PF) Government not to use the fight against corruption to persecute innocent people from the former ruling party.
But Chief Government spokesperson Given Lubinda said the PF Government has no reasons to settle political scores using institutions of governance like the police.
Ms Siliya told journalists after attending former Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Maxwell Mwale’s case at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court complex that the PF should strive to build on the country’s peace and not to persecute former MMD cabinet ministers.
“Let us not set a precedent that every party which comes out of power must have its former cabinet ministers and members prosecuted for corruption.
“The fight against corruption is good but it should not be a tool to persecute former cabinet ministers,” she said.
Ms Siliya said Zambia is treading on dangerous grounds if every political party which forms government will take a stance of prosecuting former cabinet ministers.
She claimed that MMD members are being mistreated by the PF Government over campaign materials the former ruling party legally acquired.
Ms Siliya said it is surprising the PF Government is after the MMD over campaign materials when the ruling party is busy distributing chitenge materials in Chongwe Constituency.
“The PF today is persecuting the MMD over campaign materials because they did not have some chitenge materials to distribute during the September 2011 tripartite election.
“But why are they distributing chitenge materials in Chongwe for the by-election if that is being considered as corruption?” she asked.
Ms Siliya said the PF should concentrate on governing the country and build on the already existing peace for Zambia to continue being a beacon of hope and peace.
But Mr Lubinda, who is also Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism, said the PF Government has not embarked on a witch hunt against the former cabinet ministers in the MMD Government.
He said people who have been arrested by the police have questions which the police want them to answer.
“Let the old adage come true today, Let the guilty be afraid, at an appearance of the police officer they shall run and when they so do the police will follow them.
“All those people who have been arrested, it is because the police believe that they have answers to the questions the police have,” Mr Lubinda said.
He said there is no political motivation to arrest some cabinet ministers and some prominent figures.
Mr Lubinda said all Zambians know of scandals associated with named individuals in the former regime but those people are still going on about with their business.
“Indeed those individuals are still going on about with their business free, had we mounted a witch hunt, all such people would have been rounded up,” he said.
Mr Lubinda said people who are free in their dealings will have their minds and conscious clear and will go about with their businesses as free citizens as any other person.
He said the PF Government has no interest “whatsoever” in settling political scores using institutions of governance, especially the police.
[Zambia Daily Mail]