‘Corruption fight manipulated’

Contrived and unproved allegations of corruption have destroyed livelihoods of innocent people, President Edgar Lungu says.

It was for this reason he says that he will move cautiously in the fight against corruption because in the past the crusade was sometimes used to victimize innocent citizens.

And President Lungu says he has never stopped the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) from investigating anybody.

President Lungu said some people have lost their entire livelihood because of allegations of corruption which have not been proven.

He was speaking when he featured on Hot FM 10th Anniversary breakfast show,

“I think I want to move cautiously in the fight against corruption by making sure that I am not manipulated by those who are holier than thou, who want to manipulate the process and punish their competitors or friends,” President Lungu said.

He said if an allegation came to him that his minister was corrupt, he would definitely allow investigations to go ahead without interference. President Lungu said those who were claiming that he had not been fighting corruption were not being sincere. The Head of State said he did not understand what African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption meant when it recently claimed that he was not fighting corruption in the country.

“I will not be abused as President by saying hey! Can you investigate this guy? Just because you don’t like him or you want me to remove him from his office. That I will not do because in the past where we are coming from the fight against corruption has been used to victimize people.

You know the number of people who have suffered, who are destitute now and who have not been proven wrong in the courts of law but just because there has been a cry of corruption,” he said.

President Lungu said even President Michael Sata (late) was sometimes made to believe that some people were corrupt by the same people who were corrupt but would hide under the guise of being crusaders and some people lost their jobs.

“But I don’t think I will do that because I have learnt my lesson by working closely with Mr Sata. I knew how this fight against corruption was manipulated and innocent people were victimized. Some people have even died because of that. So on that score I am going to be very steady. I will fight corruption, yes but I will make sure that innocent people are given free space in which to operate,” he said.

President Lungu said it was unfair that whoever became rich would be considered corrupt and whoever became old was considered a wizard.