Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Zambia

Fight against corruption under UPND led Government is selective and defective-Catholic Priest Fr. Augustine Mwewa

Catholic Priest Rev. Fr. Augustine Mwewa

Copperbelt-based Catholic Priest Fr. Augustine Mwewa has charged that the fight against corruption under the United Party for National Development (UPND) led Government is selective and defective.

Fr. Mwewa of St. Ignatius Parish in Tug Argan, Ndola said government wings such as Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) are not investigating fresh cases linked to UPND Ministers and technocrats.

He observed that ACC and DEC are mute on corruption allegations levelled against some UPND government officials.

Fr. Mwewa said investigative wings are receiving instructions from the State House on whom to investigate or arrest.

He said the crusade against corruption under the New Dawn Government is flawed.

“We have seen the fight against corruption under the new Government. The fight against corruption was even there under PF especially when we had ba Sata. Ba Lungu at one point lost the fight against corruption especially since some political cadres seemed to have more power and I think this is what cost them to lose power. The current fight against corruption has its own weaknesses. The fight against corruption is selective. I stand to be challenged. We have a minister who has had his own wife appointed Ku Zesco Limited. When are we going to investigate that? That appointment has not been denounced,” Fr. Mwewa said.

“As we are fighting corruption let us be professional and your conscience will tell you, you are investigating me because you have been sent by the President. Your conscience must prick you. The selective fight against corruption or any other abuse should stop. It must stop.”

“We have the political advisor to the President and a permanent secretary trying to come in the open to say the President sent them to destroy Democratic Party and they have managed to destroy the party for Harry Kalaba. That is fighting democracy and nothing has been done. We have seen people declaring their assets, they are not being investigated. If we can investigate 15 flats when I compare the amount of money I can spend on 15 flats and then people declaring 100 plus million and all those dollars or thousands in their accounts. When are we going to investigate them? So you can tell DEC, ACC are receiving instructions from the State House on whom to investigate. The Presidential Spokesman (Anthony Bwalya) was on Diamond TV and when he was asked why they had not arrested people accused of corruption in the new government; he refused to say I am not a police officer. But is he an economist because he had earlier tackled economic issues in the same interview? So he was playing double standards. We see questionable acts within UPND they are not being followed, they are not being investigated but these others are being followed. Those are the defects in the fight against corruption,” Fr. Mwewa said.

He said even the recently conducted recruitment of teachers and health workers was marred with corruption despite the presence of ACC officers on the recruitment panel.

Fr. Mwewa said he has information that some government officials were bringing names of people to recruit without the following procedure.

He emphasised that the recruitment of government workers is good but transparency was needed in the process.

“Another area, we have seen our youths being recruited and still being asked to pay a lot of money. People are looking for jobs because they have no money and yet you are demanding money from them. Was the teacher recruitment really transparent? Despite them promising us that ACC and what will be part of the recruitment, corruption is still rampant. Corruption is still happening in the recruitment of government workers. Yes the recruitment of government workers is good but we need to be assured that things will be done as transparently as possible and we want ACC and DEC to come out on these matters. This is why I propose that the President should stop appointing Directors for these institutions like ACC and DEC,” Fr. Mwewa added.

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