The United Party for National Development (UPND) is baffled at the magnitude of sarcasm from State House that “there is no law compelling Lungu to fire a corruption accused minister” as reported in today’s edition of News Diggers! Newspaper.
While we appreciate that everyone is innocent until proven guilty by the courts of law, we are of the strong view that allowing Dr Chitalu Chilufya to continue holding on to his ministerial portfolio while he facing a myriad of corruption investigations levelled against him is immoral and defies logic.
The reason why influential people under investigations are supposed to leave office is to create an enabling environment for investigations to take place. Some people wield a lot of power and influence which can be used to interfere with witnesses or instil fear in investigation officers.
We feel that allowing Dr Chilufya to continue in his portfolio will make it difficult for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to efficiently and effectively carry out investigations owing to the fact that a sitting minister wields so much power and for an investigations officer, who is a public officer, from the Commission to proceed to investigate his or her political boss would amount to burning their fingers.
Already, we have seen how invisible hands from the powers that be have tried to interfere in interrogations against Dr Chilufya, the latest being a month ago when sources at ACC revealed that there was high level interference in corruption investigations against Dr Chilufya (Mast dated 23rd May, 2020).
We feel that Mr Lungu is setting a very bad precedence by shielding people accused of corruption such as Dr Chilufya who command a lot of influence as a minister, as the move hampers the country’s strides in the fight against corruption.
Therefore, owing to the gravity of the allegations being levelled against Dr Chilufya at hand, the UPND would like to call on him to step aside in order to allow for investigations to be concluded after which he can be reappointed.