Thu, 11 Oct 2012 10:19:56 +0000
PRESIDENT Michael Sata must take a bold decision to take the report of corruption allegations against his ministers to parliament for debate, according to National Restoration Party (NAREP) president Elias Chipimo Jnr.
Welcoming the Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba’s statement that he was ready to step aside to pave way for investigations against him by the Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC), Mr. Chipimo said that although President Sata was not obliged to take such action under the current constitution, the only way out of this was to table the matter in parliament.
He said the allegation of corruption Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba was facing was shocking and therefore both senior PF officials must not interfere with the ongoing investigations.
Mr. Chipimo said that Mr. Mwamba had shown a sense of maturity and leadership and hoped that both Ministers would not interfere with the investigations.
The opposition leader said that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) should also show a sense of responsibility and professionalism in the manner they were handling the investigations.
He said although President Sata had no obligation to take the report of the findings to parliament, it was in the best interest to table the findings in parliament because people involved in the corruption allegations were very senior ministers in his government.
“It is always welcome when we hear members of a ruling party acknowledging that there is corruption in the party and government. But it is and should be a worrying development that there are senior government officials involved. It is therefore necessary that the President after receiving the report takes it to parliament because people involved were very senior government ministers. I know that he is not obligated to do that but for the sake of transparency it is the right way of doing things,” he said.
Mr. Chipimo said that the corruption allegations between Mr. Mwamba and Wynter Kabimba were serious and hoped that they were not part of the character assassination resulting from the deepening leadership succession in the ruling party.
“We want to echo Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba that he is ready to be investigated but we also warn ACC not to be used as political tools aimed at discrediting people for some personal benefit. Those facing such allegations should be ready to be investigated because justice must prevail,” he said.
Mr. Chipimo however, urged all those with issues against ACC to give the investigative wing chance to carry out the investigations and make the findings public for public scrutiny.
“It is also a challenge to ACC to strive to be professional in the manner they conduct these investigations especially that this issue involve two officials who are very senior Ministers in government. They need to redeem themselves and avoid cover-ups,” he said.