By Lukundo Nankamba
Transparency International Zambia –TIZ- says the statement made by President Hakainde Hichilema following corruption allegations against two Cabinet Ministers, coupled with the subsequent arrest of Lumezi Member of Parliament Munir Zulu, have the potential to erode public confidence in the fight against corruption.
Mr. Zulu recently alleged that Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane and his Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development counterpart Charles Milupi are being investigated secretly by the Anti-Corruption Commission-ACC- for dubiously receiving US$250 million each from sources whose names have been withheld through bank transfers, allegations which President Hichilema has criticized.
But TIZ Executive Director Maurice Nyambe notes that President Hichilema`s position made on the issue, where he effectively declared the two Ministers innocent even before any process to ascertain the veracity of Mr. Zulu’s claims had commenced is a matter of concern.
Mr. Nyambe says the President needed to be cautious about quickly coming to the defence of his ministers before any of the allegations against them had been properly looked into.
He states that although Mr. Zulu is not a whistleblower, the recent developments could potentially add credence to his assertions that law enforcement agencies are not autonomous in their operations.
Mr. Nyambe has since urged President Hichilema to resist the temptation of quickly pronouncing himself on any specific matter related to corruption, especially matters that are in their infancy.