Monday, July 02, 2007
By Joan Chirwa and Chibaula Silwamba
Monday July 02, 2007 [04:00]
TOURISM deputy minister Michael Kaingu has advised Patriotic Front members of parliament not to drag President Levy Mwanawasa and Post editor Fred M’membe in their internal wrangles. And former MMD co-ordinator in Luapula Province Samuel Chewe said PF parliamentarians' stance to shield Chiluba's corruption on tribal lines was weakening the fight against corruption.
Comparing the corruption levels in the Frederick Chiluba’s government and the current government, Kaingu said he and other government leaders were scared of stealing public resources. Kaingu said President Mwanawasa’s fight against corruption had made most senior
government officials careful in handling public resources.
“The fight against corruption spearheaded by President Mwanawasa, Mr. M’membe and the Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) is really working because us the new crooks in government are scared of tampering with people’s resources like the old crooks did,” said Kaingu who is also Mwandi member of parliament and Western Province MMD treasurer. “As much as the current government is arresting the old crooks, new crooks are so scared to steal public funds.”
In reference to Patriotic Front (PF) parliamentarians’ attacks on President Mwanawasa and Post editor Fred M’membe over their condemnation of Chiluba’s corrupt practices, Kaingu advised the parliamentarians not to drag the two into their internal wrangles.
Kaingu said those who were against M’membe’s continuous attacks on Chiluba’s corruption were not just happy with the progress of the Post editor.
“I can not see any reason why people should be angered by remarks made in editorial comments of The Post newspaper. Mr. M’membe, just like President Mwanawasa, is not happy with corruption and that is the reason why they talk about it so that it can end,” Kaingu said. “Those who are trying to shoot down Mr. M’membe are not just happy because he is progressing. He (M’membe) knows what is right for this country and he is speaking for everyone so that citizens of this country can have a fair share of national resources.”
And Chewe said the PF parliamentarians should not support Chiluba on tribal grounds but plead with President Mwanawasa to forgive the former president.
“If each tribe will be supporting their tribesmen who are found to be corrupt, we will fail in our fight against corruption," he said.
"Did people of Southern Province defend David Diangamo when we had corruption cases? No! Easterners didn't defend Richard Sakala when he was taken to prison over corruption cases.”
He said PF parliamentarians should have sought audience with President Mwanawasa to ask him to forgive Chiluba.
"Members of parliament should have gone to the President in private and respect to beg him to forgive Chiluba. We also have many chiefs in Luapula; all chiefs should have sat and discussed with President Mwanawasa so that he helps our brother Chiluba. President Mwanawasa is a lawyer; he would have listened and used his prerogative to forgive our brother Chiluba. That is how things should be," said Chewe.