The mad scramble for land spearheaded by the Patriotic Front (PF) cadres should be stopped by a serious combined investigation by both the Zambia Police and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to save lawful citizens, charges Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) Executive Director Reverend Pukuta Mwanza.
Rev. Mwanza said that the PF government should show credibility in the manner it was fighting corruption in the management of land by acting on the various land allegations perpetuated by its members throughout the country and the most recent being the one involving its provincial chairman for Lusaka Mr. Chuumbwe.
Rev. Mwanza said that it was shocking that the corruption and abuse of office allegations involving PF members were being made by the party officials themselves, adding that the petition to President Sata to discipline Mr. Chuumbwe was one such, sign that there was rampant corruption and abuse of office in the PF.
He said that it was therefore prudent that the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) and Zambia Police institute investigations to ascertain how Patriotic Front (PF) Lusaka Province chairman Geoffrey Chuumbwe got 31 plots from Chongwe District Council and other PF officials who have benefited in land wrangles going on throughout the country.
Rev Mwanza said that it was strange that the Chongwe District Council could give an individual 31 plots when Zambians were fighting for land across the country.
But Mr. Chuumbwe yesterday denied having acquired the 31 plots saying that those that were peddling such information were being dishonest.
Mr. Chuumbwe said that it was strange that people were now peddling lies against him aimed at destroying his reputation.
“Watch Muvi TV in the evenings today and that issue has already been explained my dear. People talking about this matter are ignorant. I only got one plot,” he said
But on 24th March 2013 13 PF provincial leaders petitioned President Sata to remove Mr. Chuumbwe as acting Lusaka Province chairman for allegedly obtaining 31 plots in Chongwe’s Silverest area under circumstances.
According to the petition addressed to President Sata, Mr. Chuumbwe allegedly personalized the 31 pieces of land given to him by the district council to share to 24 provincial and six district leaders in Lusaka Province.
“PF must show credibility and commitment in the manner it is addressing issues of corruption. There are many questions the people of Zambia are asking in the manner Mr. Chuumbwe got the 31 plots. I want to know at what council meeting did the council offer Mr. Chuumbwe the plots in question?
“When did the council advertise for these plots? And why did they decide as a council to give all the 31 plots to an individual?” asked Rev. Mwanza.
Rev. Mwanza said that the allegations of corruption as stated in the petition by PF officials against their fellow senior party member were no longer strange as it had become the order of the day in the PF and it was high time President Sata showed commitment in the fight against the vice.
“Land issues have always been a problem in Zambia and to have a situation where one person is given 31 plots of land in his name is shocking. We feel that there is more to that than what meets the eye,
“That is why I am saying that nobody should interfere in the investigations to ascertain how Mr. Chuumbwe got those plots. No one should come out to shield people involved because the people of Zambia are waiting to know how he got the land in question and how the council gave it to him,” he said.
Rev. Mwanza reminded the PF leadership that Zambians were still talking about the manner in which the ACC mishandled the corruption allegation against two senior PF ministers, adding that President Sata must act on the petition presented to him forthwith.