Ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) official on the Copperbelt Province Chikabala Kaleta has accused some people in the government system of frustrating President Hakainde Hichilema’s efforts to fight corruption.
Mr Kaleta, a member of the UPND mobilisation team in Kalulushi District, says President Hichilema and the New Dawn government have demonstrated political will to fight corruption.
The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) recently said the fight against corruption would be incomplete and just mere political rhetoric if policy pronouncements by the Government are not supported by affirmative action.
“So far, the Anti-Corruption Commission has seized a lot of properties including cash from some leaders who served in the previous Patriotic Front government. Apart from seizures there has been no conviction so far, making the fight against corruption appear as political persecution. Presently, corrupt practices have simply changed forms, shapes and sizes in the procurement of drugs, farming inputs, motorized transport, school requisites, by-elections and justice system among others. We demand that there be no sacred cows in the fight against corruption,” the Bishops said.
In reaction, Mr. Kaleta said he believes even within the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) there are people impeding the crusade against corruption sparked by the UPND government.
“The political will to fight corruption from the New Dawn government is very clear but there are people in the system that are frustrating government efforts. You have heard President Hakainde Hichilema saying constituency development funds should benefit the local people but there are people with corrupt minds in the system doing the opposite. They are the ones causing even confusion in the utilisation of government resources such as constituency development funds. If you find people in the Procurement Office at Kalulushi Council awarding a project contract in Chambishi to a contractor from Kitwe. You mean the entire Kalulushi has no contractor to work on a simple project at a school like Twashuka in Chambishi? You see how people are disregarding the President’s directive? These are trends that promote corruption. This comes back to the fight against corruption we are talking about,” Mr. Kaleta said.
“He who hunts must kill. When you see the Anti Corruption Commission pounces on someone’s door it is not that they don’t know where they are going. ACC knows where they are going but sometimes it is the approach that makes them appear like they did not know anything. If ACC begins following up matters, citizens want results because if we are fighting corruption, the fight it should not have colour. Corruption should not have a political party; corruption should not have any tribe attached to it. When you are corrupt, when you are taking people’s resources you are an enemy of the people. Once you become an enemy of the people then you should be taken away from the public. That is how it is supposed to be. So when I hear certain things about people being followed they should not cry foul that ACC is following them because they are hated. Once you are in public service you must be accountable for your actions. Allow the law enforcement agencies to investigate you,” he said.
And Mr. Kaleta has said negative sentiments from the opposition can hinder investment flow in the country.
“We are told there are some investors coming to Zambia and this information has reached parliament. In the public sector I guarantee you as promised during campaigns the President will continue delivering employment but in the private sector it requires concerted efforts. Not where the government is trying to preach good policies and then the other camp is trying to sham. That also hinders investment because when we say we are a Christian nation, our core interest as a people is to see Zambia prosper regardless of who seats there. Who knew that Zambia would have many independent Members of Parliament like today? No one knew because at the end of the day it is the people who decide what they want. Between now and 2026 there is enough time where the left side (opposition) should antagonize the government.So even at the Anti Corruption Commission there are some people who regardless of what the President says will do the opposite,” Mr. Kaleta said.