President Michael Sata should stop complaining and lamenting about his corrupt ministers but should instead take stern action if he is truly allergic to corruption, MMD chairman Kabinga Pande has said.
Mr Pande said President Sata has often been complaining about corruption in government but had not taken any real steps to curb the vice apart from lamenting about rampant graft among his ministers and other Patriotic Front (PF) officials.
Mr Pande who was minister of foreign affairs in President Rupiah Banda’s administration charged that Mr Sata had been selective in taking action against erring ministers and that so far, the Head of State had only dismissed some deputy ministers on allegations of corruption.
He said President Sata had failed to fire full cabinet ministers who had in fact been reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) but that the commission could not proceed with investigations after the Head of State decreed that none of his ministers should ever be investigated without his permission.
Mr Pande said it was discouraging and uninspiring for President Sata to be lamenting about corruption in his government when he had all the power to take necessary action against all culprits regardless of their relationship with the Head of State.
He said Mr Sata had declared that he was allergic to corruption and should be the last person to complain about rampant graft among his known ministers.
Mr Pande wondered what President Sata wanted Zambians to do about his corrupt ministers and other government officials if he could not discipline them himself.
Mr Pande said it had become clear that President Sata and the PF government lost their allergic tag to corruption within 90 days of stay in government and that most of the ministers and PF officials did not see the evils of engaging in the vice that have reached endemic levels.
“If President Sata knows that his ministers have been receiving corruption money and that some are not even satisfied with the money they have received, what has he done about it? He knows the ministers who have received corruption money and all he does is inform Zambians that his ministers are corrupt. President Sata should be the last person to complain and lament about his corrupt ministers because he has the power to fire and surrender them to relevant law enforcement agencies so that they can be prosecuted. If he is going to be the one complaining about his own corrupt ministers, where will the Zambians run to if they detected corruption,” Mr Pande said.
He said there must never be sacred cows in the fight against corruption and that President Sata dismissed Pambashe Member of Parliament Ronald Chitotela and his Mwansabombwe counterpart Rodgers Mwewa from their deputy minister position on the same corruption allegations he was lamenting about over his cabinet ministers.