Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has condemned President Edgar Lungu for appointing Dora Siliya as Energy and Water Development Minister when she is still facing criminal charges in court.
TIZ Information Officer Charles Chulu in a statement to QFM says the move by President Lungu is a u-turn on his recent promise during the official opening of Parliament that he will not protect anyone facing corruption charges.
Mr Chulu says President Lungu is well aware that Ms Siliya is facing criminal charges of abuse of office.
He states that in April 2012, law enforcement agencies arrested and charged Ms Siliya for abuse of authority of office and the matter is currently active in court.
Mr Chulu says TIZ views the decision by the Head of State as morally incorrect and that if the President Lungu does not reverse his decision, it will be a serious dent in the fight against corruption as his words and actions will be contradictory especially on this appointment which is a serious litmus test on his leadership.
He says the President must realize that this appointment is sending a message that alleged criminality and corruption pays as long as one can render political support to the ruling party.
Mr Chulu adds that President Lungu’s decision means he has abandoned the vision of late President Michael Sata which he promised to uphold, by working with people that are facing criminal charges in the court of law, contrary to President Sata’s vision, who dismissed two deputy ministers when they were being investigated over corrupt practices.
He states that if the late President Sata’s vision and the divine intervention the country sought were to go by, President Lungu should act in good faith and reverse his appointment and allow the courts of law to complete the prosecution of Ms Siliya of all criminal charges against her.