Lungu inherited cartel

THE inertia in Government and failure of investigative wings to prosecute massive corruption should be attributed to officers appointed into critical positions through the influence of the cartel.
Some of the ministers, permanent secretaries and directors President Edgar Lungu inherited were appointed through the influence of the cartel and it is not surprising that they are failing the President because their loyalty is not with the Head of State, Paradius Sakala has observed.
He said there was a conspiracy to bring down the Patriotic Front (PF) Government between some of the ministers, permanent secretaries and directors and some opposition political party associated with the cartel and unless President Lungu took a bold step to uproot the members of the cartel that had infiltrated the system, the Head of State was going to find it difficult to govern.
Mr Sakala, who is a PF member and Kapoche constituency losing parliamentary candidate in the 2011 general elections said while the ruling party and Government had acknowledged the presence of the cartel members in most of Government agencies and institutions, no radical decision had been made to clean up the system.
He stated that civil rights activist Brebner Changala was apt when he observed that President Lungu’s Cabinet was either moribund or was not just with the Head of State because most of them were dealing with permanent secretaries, directors and other senior civil servants who were appointed by some of the leaders who were now leading opposition political parties.
He charged that most of the directors and permanent secretaries were either ill-advising Ministers in defending President Lungu and Government policies or they were allegedly working against the PF because they were loyal to some known opposition leaders who influenced their appointments into Government.
“It is true that Ministers are not defending President Lungu who is under severe and malicious attacks from opposition leaders over matters that the ministers can ably handle. We have witnessed deafening silence because some of the Cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries and directors President Lungu inherited were appointed through the influence of some opposition leaders who were in Government at the time. The cartel is deep-rooted and it has become a dangerous cancer and unless there are radicle decisions to uproot the cartel members, President Lungu is not going to have it easy in governing the country,” Mr Sakala said. He said it was worrying that the PF through its leadership and Government through Minister of Information and Broadcasting had publicly admitted that the cartel had infiltrated most of the government departments and agencies but that no radical measures had been taken to cleanse the system.
Mr Sakala stated that it was common knowledge that State institutions and installations such as Zesco, Zamtel, Indeni and other security agencies which were critical to the smooth operations of Government were heavily infiltrated.
“The cartel needs to be eliminated and President Lungu should not be looking at faces when he begins the cleansing exercise but should be concerned with the security of the nation and its future. If they (Government) are aware about the presence of the cartel, what are they doing about it? Knowing that we have a cartel in Government is not enough but we must take action because President Lungu is still not safe as some of the people he is working with have not accepted him,” he said.