A senior Member of the ruling PF’s Central Committee has challenged President Edgar Lungu to decisively deal with other party officials implicated in the illegal trade in Gold in Mwinilunga.
And information has emerged that the illegal trade in Gold scandal from Mwinilunga’s Kansenseli Mine is in fact worthy around US$20 million (K360 million) and not the K30 million as reported by Police.
Last week, almost the entire Northwestern Province PF Executive led by Chairperson Jackson Kungo was suspended from all party activities in order to facilitate investigations at Kansenseli Mine- Mwinilunga.
But a Member of the Central Committee who requested to remain anonymous for fear of victimization said in an interview that sacking the Chairman and some Executive members is not enough.
The member demanded that President Lungu extends the sanctions to even some Ministers whom he said are active players in the alleged theft of Gold in Northwestern Province.
“As we speak, we as the party we have suffered embarrassment and humiliation because of this issue. But we know that the party leaders in the Province were not acting alone. Where is the S.G in this whole issue? There are Ministers also involved. The President should extend his action on the Ministers whom we know are deeply involved. The party should not suffer the embarrassment alone, the Executive arm of government should shoulder the blame too,” he said.
The member has named Mines Minister Richard Musukwa, National Planning Minister Alexander Chiteme and Youth, Sports and Child Development Minister Emmanuel Mulenga as some of the Ministers involved in the illegal trade in Gold from Northwestern Province.
“As a member of the Central Committee, the highest organ of the party, I applaud the stance taken by the President but I am saying that is not enough. We know there are other people involved in this issue, let him be bold enough and suspend the other Ministers because we have evidence of their involvement. Kungo and his team should not suffer the humiliation alone,” he said.
He added, “even the manner in which the President has handled Namachila’s contract (Ex North Western Province Police Commissioner) leaves more questions. If Namachila failed to curtail illegal Gold dealings in the province, where does that leave the Provincial Minister? Because as far as we are concerned, the Provincial Minister is the Head of Government in the Province. Why are we not getting to the bottom of the issue?”
The member said President Lungu needs to be very careful with some people that surround him if he is to govern to people’s expectations.
“What we are seeing now is a group of people that keep lying to the President. They go and tell him stuff they know he wants to hear. The Mwinilunga Gold issue has exposed how much they lie to him because even Musukwa (Richard) is at the centre of this scandal and yet they have managed to only sacrifice Kungo and his team.”