By KETRA KALUNGA
Government should demonstrate zero tolerance to corruption by investigating every allegation so that ministers and officials know that if ever they indulge in the vice, they will be prosecuted, veteran politician, Vernon Mwaanga has advised President Hakainde Hichilema.
And Dr Mwaanga said President Hichilema is on the right path to growing the country’s democracy and promoting the rights of citizens.
The government he said should thoroughly investigate all cases of corruption and ensure that those alleged to be involved are prosecuted regardless of their standing in society.
Meanwhile, Democratic Party President Harry Kalaba said President Hichilema should not hesitate but act and fish out the two ministers who have been implicated in the illegal mining with an Indian national in Mansa.
Mr Kalaba said the fight against corruption should not be one-sided but all-inclusive regardless of political affiliation.
Dr. Mwaanga said there were so many things which happened in the last 10 years which had brought the county to what it was at the moment and these needed to be probed so that the country could begin to move on the right trajectory.
“When MMD left office in 2011 the debt was relatively small, now the debt is colossal and the country is even failing to service the debt which has been crippling our country for quite some time.
“The unfortunate thing is that some of these loans were not used for purposes for which they were intended. People’s pockets became the recipients of some of this money, these issues need to be thoroughly investigated,” he said.
And Dr. Mwaanga said President Hakainde Hichilema is on the right path to growing the country’s democracy and promoting the rights of citizens.
He said Mr. Hichilema also understands that democracy is not absolute because even in a democracy there are limits which cannot be exceeded as was the case in the developed democracies.
Dr. Mwaanga urged Zambians to give the UPND administration time to get settled and strengthen the governance institutions.
“The new dawn government needs time to settle because being in government for four or five months is not enough, they have to make sure that the ACC, office of the investigator general is working and the police doing the job,” he said.
Mr Kalaba in an interview said that the issue concerning youths who threatened police officers was very unfortunate and that if they were not careful it would have them chucked out of power.
He challenged the youth to come forward and report the matter to the investigative wings to ensure that justice prevailed.
He said the country was waiting for action from the Head of State who had indicated that he would not tolerate corruption in his cabinet.
“We thought things would be different in the new dawn but alas it’s still the same thing. My appeal is that there should be no sacred cows in this fight,” he said.
Mr Kalaba said that the information had come from the UPND youths themselves who had indicated that their bosses were engaged in corrupt activities.
He said Zambia was not an “Animal Farm” where some animals were more equal than others but that the law should be applied fairly when dealing with issues of corruption.
On Friday, a video surfaced where UPND deputy national youth chairperson Stephen Chikota was challenging the police to stop shielding an individual who was illegally mining in Chief Kalasa Lukangaba’s area in Mansa.
The irate youths threatened to fire the police officers and even expose the ministers who were involved in the illegal mining of sugilite, an ornamental stone despite having a licence with cobalt and manganese.
And UPND secretary-general Batuke Imenda when contacted for a comment said he could not comment because he did not have the details.
“I need to look at the video for me to make a well informed comment because I do not know the contents of the video,” he said.