Watch out for merchants of malice, warns Lungu

THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) must not be used by ‘‘lynch mobs whose intentions are less than noble’’ and it must also guard against those who seek to peddle prejudice and vengeance against others, President Edgar Lungu has said.

And the Head of State has sternly warned that Government will not shield anyone serving in public office once found wanting for corruption.

He said he does not subscribe to making public pronouncements on corruption for the sake of it.

President Lungu said he understood the gravity of the fight against corruption, saying it was a serious matter which must be left to professional institutions to handle without undue influence.

The Head of State said this yesterday during the commemoration of the International Anti-Corruption Day on the theme “Break the corruption chain”.

‘‘It is in this regard that I urge the ACC to always remain vigilant so that it can resist overt and covert attempts by some people who seek to use this important organ of our governance as an instrument to settle scores,” he said.

President Lungu said the ACC was too important an institution to be left to ‘‘merchants of malice’’.

“This is an important organ of our governance system because it is tasked not just to curb existing acts of corruption but to build sustainable integrity systems upon which future generations will base their ways of life,” President Lungu said.

He said in a quest to curb corrupt practices in society Government has continued to step up measures against corruption.

“I launched the e-governance division aimed at improving coordination and implementation of information and communication technology in Government to enhance service delivery through automated services,” he said.

The Head of State added that he was aware that since the launch of the national anti-corruption policy (NACP) in 2009, some Government ministries, departments and agencies including institutions in the private sector had formed integrity committees to address institutional maladministration and corruption.

“I therefore direct all public institutions to do so because it is now a requirement by law. Let me take this opportunity to inform this gathering that the Anti-Corruption Commission in collaboration with the Curriculum Development Centre under the Ministry of General Education has concluded the production of supplementary reading materials that bear anti-corruption messages,” he said.

President Lungu said the development was commendable and it was envisaged that the books would help inculcate values of integrity in school pupils as they were being prepared to take up leadership positions.

He called on all Zambians to break the corruption chain and stand up for justice by exposing corrupt acts in the communities and workplaces and report all forms of corruption to relevant authorities with the confidence that they will be protected against unlawful reprisals.

“My Government is undertaking unprecedented infrastructural developments in all parts of the country through construction of roads, health facilities and schools among other projects.

‘‘In this respect, I wish to sound a stern warning to public officials and contractors that should they siphon public funds or any other public resources intended for these projects, they shall face the law,” President Lungu said.