By SIMON MUNTEMBA
A UPND MP has accused some of his fellow members of playing double standards in the fight against corruption.
Sesheke Member of Parliament, Romeo Kangombe said he had information that some of his party officials were using their positions to aid criminal minded individuals from being made accountable.
This, he said, was betraying President Hakainde Hichilema in the fight against corruption because they are accomplices in criminal activities.
And Mr Kangombe said there was need to amend the penal code act and make corruption cases non-bailable if the vice was to stop completely.
“I am aware that some people aiding criminals are UPND and I am appealing to their conscience; Please don’t betray the President in the fight against corruption,” he said.
Mr Kangombe also said there were individuals masquerading as law enforcement officers extorting money from unsuspected members of the public.
“We are also aware there are so many people claiming to be task force members and busy getting money from would be suspected individuals. Can the task force command and police do the needful by helping the President. Arrest these worst criminals and those that aid those to be investigated,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Kangombe noted that corruption will not end as long as the punishment was not stiff.
He said the “laissez-faire” attitude toward the fight against corruption should no longer be tolerated.
Mr Kangombe said just like the law was amended to make car theft non-bailable, corruption should be made non-bailable with a minimum sentence of 20 years imprisonment with hard labour.
“We need to make the law on corruption stiff if we are to fight the vice. Remember the days of President Chiluba when car theft was very rampant? The law was amended to make car theft non-bailable and police were ordered to kill on sight. This vice reduced drastically.
“This is what we need to do if we are to stop corruption, we need to make it non-bailable with a minimum sentence of 20 years. We can’t have criminals mocking citizens! You arrested a criminal in the morning and in the afternoon he is free and taking food for another criminal. This is mockery of justice,” Mr Kangombe said.
He also urged the law enforcement officers to expedite cases involving corruption to ensure justice prevailed.
Justice delayed is justice denied, he said, we have noted with disappointment that most cases involving high profile criminals are strategically delayed and when being sentenced they count from the day of arrest. So in most cases you find someone spending only weeks in prison for a sentence of three years.
Mr Kangombe said criminal minded individuals were taking advantage of the weaknesses in the justice system, adding that “this is why I appeal to all members of parliament to support these proposed amendments when introduced in parliament.”