Former President, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has expressed concern over President Hakainde Hichilema’s approach to corruption allegations, specifically addressing the case of former Foreign Affairs Minister Stanley Kakubo. In a press statement Mr. Lungu questioned the perceived double standards in President Hichilema’s fight against corruption.
Mr. Lungu highlighted serious allegations against Stanley Kakubo and criticized President Hichilema for merely thanking Kakubo for resigning without allowing a thorough investigation. The former President referenced previous instances where President Hichilema publicly declared innocence for his ministers facing corruption accusations.
The statement pointed to last year’s corruption accusations against Kakubo, where Mr. Hichilema, rather than the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), declared him innocent. Mr. Lungu emphasized the need for a fair investigation and a legal process to determine innocence or guilt, expressing concern that President Hichilema’s interventions could compromise the independence of investigative bodies.
Mr. Lungu urged Zambians to question the apparent double standards in President Hichilema’s fight against corruption. He argued that while opposition leaders and former government officials are presumed guilty until proven innocent, ministers and government officials enjoy the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
The former President criticized President Hichilema’s swift defense of his ministers in recent corruption allegations involving the Finance and Housing and Infrastructure portfolios. Mr. Lungu questioned the impact of such interventions on the investigative wings and the courts, emphasizing the importance of impartiality in the fight against corruption.
Mr. Lungu highlighted other corruption allegations within the government, expressing disappointment in President Hichilema’s silence on accusations against ministers in the energy and health sectors. He called for a genuine commitment to combating corruption without bias, urging President Hichilema to use such incidents to admonish ministers against engaging in opaque transactions.
The former President concluded by asserting that the fight against corruption should be impartial, without favoritism based on one’s proximity to power. He condemned what he perceived as a selective approach to the fight against corruption, accusing President Hichilema of using it as a smokescreen to target perceived opponents while shielding allies from accountability.