President Edgar Lungu has said that he will only fire Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister, Ronald Chitotela if the court finds him guilty of corruption.
President Lungu said that Mr. Chitotela was innocent and that the prosecutors should be given chance to prove whether the corruption allegations placed on him are indeed true.
The Head of State said that no one should be allowed to interfere in the process and that he will give leeway to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to take Mr. Chitotela to court.
President Lungu was speaking to journalists at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport shortly before departure for Livingstone for a night stop in transit to Sesheke to drum up support for PF Candidate Dean Masule.
The President also called on political players and Zambians to desist from politicizing the fight against corruption.
President Lungu that he was saddened that the arrest of Mr. Chitotela by the ACC is being politicised by certain individuals, adding that he does not instruct the police to investigate anyone because it is their mandate to do so.
Meanwhile, President Edgar Lungu has called on Patriotic Front (PF) members to embrace new members if the party is to continue growing.
The Head of State said the PF was weak in some areas due to the trend by ‘old members’ shunning and bullying new members on the basis of them being in the party for a longer period.
“PF is for all of us but I have heard that our members in Livingstone and other parts of Southern Province are selfish as they do not want to grow the party” Mr. Lungu said.
Mr Lungu clarified that even those who joined the party at the eleventh hour were bona fide PF members and would help keep the PF alive and growing.
He also warned that if founding members did not want to embrace the new ones, then the party leadership would work with the ‘late comers’ for the benefit of the party.
“Those who join us at 11 o’ clock shall have lunch with us at 12 o’ clock because that is the leadership of Michael Chilufya Sata,” he said.
Mr Lungu said this upon arrival at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone on Thursday.
He was accompanied by PF Secretary General Davis Mwila and Justice Minister Given Lubinda and was welcomed by Works and Supply Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya, Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale, senior government and party officials.
Mr Lungu further said PF as a party was premised on power to the people, adding that anyone who thought he could have power without the people’s support was wasting their time.
“People lead because there are those willing to follow and one should reflect on why people follow them. There is no magic about leadership. Leadership is about listening and giving people what they want and that is what we shall continue doing as a party,” he said.
Earlier, Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale directed the Livingstone City Council to allow residents who applied for land two years ago to be allowed to pay for it in six equal instalments.
Dr Hamukale said most residents had limited resources and could only be empowered with land if allowed to pay in instalments.
He commended President Lungu for authorising him to make the directive following an outcry from Livingstone residents.
And the Provincial Minister appealed to President Lungu to consider giving Livingstone a preferential tax regime to maximize revenue generation and prevent losing out on trade deals to other countries.
Dr Hamukale said this could be used as a pilot project to enable government assess revenue generation levels before scaling up to other areas.
He also attributed the province’s good pass rate in the 2018 examinations to good infrastructure such as boarding schools which provided favourable studying environment to pupils; and the increase in the number of teachers deployed to the province.
Mr Lungu is enroute to Sesheke, Western Province on a campaign trail to drum up support for PF Parliamentary candidate Dean Masule in the upcoming Sesheke by-election.