Opposition United Progressive Party leader Savior Chishimba has challenged President Edgar Lungu to come clean over the role he played in the US$34.5 million Malawi Maize export scandal.
And Dr appealed to the international community to help Zambia by placing travel bans on senior government officials who have plundered and externalised public resources.
Dr Chishimba says the call for President Lungu to clear his name is based on the official statement by Malawian Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Dr. George Chaponda that the he met with President Lungu and Agriculture Minister Dora Siliya to seal the maize deal for Malawi on 11 December, 2016.
He said Dr George Chaponda’s revelations have clearly added more intrigues, which beg for deeper examination.
“We believe that the meeting at State House was a cover up predominantly because the deal was sealed in May 2016 and the partial exportation of maize started before the coming of Hon. George Chaponda to Zambia,” Dr Chishimba said.
He said UPP is seriously concerned primarily because the presidential involvement will impede the professional work of the ACC in whose hands the party has placed critical evidence on all the transactions including the movement of funds.
“The men and women of the ACC are credible and professional, but their work has, during the PF-MMD reign, been undermined by the corrupt and powerful elements in the upper echelons of government.”
He added, ‘the ACC has always been publicly ridiculed and vilified by the presidency whenever permission to investigate senior officials is sought. While the ACC need not get permission, we believe that they do so out of courtesy when the President’s lieutenants are involved.”
He said UPP has issued a detailed statement before to urge President Lungu to rise above the board and act against corrupt officials whom he said have evidently transformed State House into a centre of corruption and the award of public contracts like digital migration, among others.
“Cabinet Office has also followed suit in the sagas like the US$15 million Microsoft e-government scandal among others. We believe that Microsoft has not even been paid yet. The Secretary to Cabinet has become the protector and godfather of corrupt permanent secretaries and senior civil servants in government,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Chishimba has appealed to the international community to slap travels bans on corrupt senior government officials.
He said his party is also still waiting for the announcement of a full list of all the corrupt ministers in whose accounts huge amounts of money are being corruptly deposited.
“This lamentation was raised by President Lungu himself, but we believe that he can do better than lamentations. The people of Zambia want action now. Our nation is bleeding and ordinary citizens are being subjected to harsh realities of high taxes, rising cost of living, disease, load shedding, unemployment, plummeting value of the Kwacha, poor water and sanitation, among others,” he said.
Dr Chishimba has since appealed to the international community to help Zambia by placing travel bans on senior government officials who have plundered and externalised public resources.
“We urge foreign nations in which offshore accounts are to freeze the accounts and send back our money,” Dr Chishimba said.