By Hakainde Hichilema, UPND President
Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya went to attend court in a matter where he is alleged to have engaged in corrupt practices, we were in shock by the level of disrespect of the Judiciary. He was flanked by literally hundreds of cadres and so-called sympathisers that overwhelmed the court premises. Their presence was domineering and designed to intimidate the courts, dissuading them from carrying out their noble constitutional mandate.
The sheer arrogance of Dr. Chilufya and those around him sent a clear message to the justice system that the PF are above the law. They essentially carried the day by leaving the presiding magistrate no choice but to adjourn the matter on account of the malignant presence of cadres in the courtroom. It was indeed a sad day for the Judiciary and an example of the breakdown of the rule of law in our country, under a corrupt and visionless PF leadership.
A man in Dr. Chilufya’s position is supposed humble himself under the circumstances and allow an unhindered due process. Numerous allegations of corruption under his Ministry have been made in addition to what he is being charged for. We recently heard of a large amount of money, approximately $17 Million US dollars, being paid to a non-existent company called “Honeybee” then later clarified to be an individual. This transpires while millions of Zambians are unable to access essential medication, leading to avoidable loss of lives. The young people of our country are in need of jobs while PF officials are allocated huge contracts in a questionable manner as evidenced by recent voice recordings of the practice. We still do not know who owns the 48 houses, as well the 49 properties noted in the last FIC report.
We call on well-meaning Zambians and most importantly, the Judiciary, to condemn this demonstration of impunity.
When our time comes, we shall strengthen the separation of powers, of the three arms of government, and ensure judicial independence. The rule of law will be restored, and we would send a strong message of our stance against corruption by ordering a sitting Minister under investigation to step down until the final determination of the matter.