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IT is extremely careless to call Patriotic Front (PF) members thieves when there is no single member who has been convicted by the courts of law, Zambia’s former ambassador to Ethiopia, Emmanuel Mwamba has said.

Mr Mwamba said it was saddening that the PF was branded a party of thieves and judged by political opponents before being put through the due process of the law. He said people should stop calling the PF members ‘‘bapompwe’’ (thieves) when there was no tangible evidence that the alleged crimes were committed.

Mr Mwamba was reacting to UPND Alliance member, Emmanuel Malite who accused PF of being a grouping of thieves when he appeared on Diamond Television on Friday. “It is wrong to accuse people of being thieves without evidence. Like my dear brother Emmanuel Malite who said ba PF baliniba pomwe when there is so far no one that has been convicted.

In fact, there is no evidence that the crimes that they are alleging were committed, until a competent court determines on those matters. “It is extremely careless to call people thieves when you haven’t put them through the due process of the law, but it has become normal that even the media is accepting to be calling a certain group of people without the due process of the law,” Mr Mwamba said.

He added, “Minister of Finance for three years of the five years term of the PF was Felix Mutati who is a senior Minister in this government, so should I call him a thief? Because he was Minister of Finance in charge of the treasury for three years in PF, should I call him a thief? So we are not encouraging sober and sound debate, we are defaming and reducing the standing and honor of the people even before they are put through the due process of the law.”

Mr Mwamba also alleged that the fight against corruption under the UPND leadership was questionable, because certain individuals who were believed to be involved in a US$50 million fertiliser scandal were shielded by the government. “The fight against corruption is extremely important, what dismays all of us is when it is seen to be used as a tool to oppress the opponents. When it is used unfairly,” he said.

Mr Mwamba said the law must not be targeted at individuals or a group of people but for all those suspected to have plundered national resources from 1964 to date. “If there are suspected five thieves, let all of them be investigated whether they committed the crimes in years back or now, all are crimes. Let’s not select among the five thieves. If we are really serious about the recovery of national resources that we think have been plundered, don’t focus on the PF. Focus on the local government from the current administration to even more than 25 years ago.So if the fight is to yield the intended purpose it should not target the PF but all the people that plundered the national resources as far as in the UNIP and MMD era, up to now,” Mr Mwamba said.

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