Saturday, February 21, 2009

Silence criminals in govt, not Post – Sata

Silence criminals in govt, not Post – Sata
Written by George Chellah and Mutuna Chanda
Saturday, February 21, 2009 6:58:32 AM

RUPIAH Banda must silence the criminals in his government and not The Post, Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata has said. Reacting to revelations that President Banda's government was plotting to arrest Post editor Fred M'membe and Zambian Airways chief executive officer Mutembo Nchito, Sata said President Banda’s plans to arrest the duo would not yield anything.

“We knew about that, anyway. Tell them that where there is no truth, they won’t go anywhere,” Sata said.

“Rupiah Banda and Francis Kabonde (Acting Inspector General of Police) and all the officers in the security systems who are on contract that are wrongly advising Rupiah will not be able to silence the truth. Rupiah Banda is supposed to silence the criminals in his government who are depriving the people of Zambia the truth through corruption and not The Post and Mutembo.”

He reminded President Banda to be mindful of the fact that the truth shall always prevail.

“Fred M’membe and Mutembo are just two individuals and even if they arrest them, the paper will remain intact and the opinion of the Zambian people will remain the same and the fight against corruption will continue. M’membe and Mutembo Nchito should not fear, they should stand for the truth,” Sata said.

“Let them (government) not confuse the anomalies in Zambian Airways and these two individuals. M’membe and Mutembo were only doing business like anybody else in this country. In fact, let them know that prison hardens people’s feelings. So if they are arrested, they will come out more than they are today. Look at me, what happened after the late Mwanawasa threw me in prison for 40 days to silence me?”

And Radio Icengelo station manager Fr Frank Bwalya stated that Zambians would not allow President Banda to abuse the judicial process as a way of covering up the stinking corruption of his government.

"I think that such a move by government, though malicious and evil, would turn out to be the greatest thing that happened to Zambians this time around because it will mark the beginning of the end of the corrupt government of Mr Rupiah Banda," Fr Bwalya stated.

"Today, all Zambians know that had M'membe and others not called former president Chiluba a thief, his corruption and that of his friends would not have been exposed in the way it is now and that those who plundered public resources would have been enjoying our money freely and with impunity."

Fr Bwalya said everyone, including some honest people in President Banda's government, were fed up of the corruption of his regime.

"Even the courts, the police, the military, other civil servants including some honest people in the current regime and the general public would want the corrupt government of Mr Banda to collapse," he stated.

Fr Bwalya likened the plot to arrest M'membe and Nchito, if it materialises, to the days on which Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected.

"Christians know that it was only after Jesus Christ rose from the dead that the day on which he was crucified came to be known as Good Friday and not bad Friday," Fr Bwalya said.

"So the arrest of M'membe and Nchito will be very bad on the day of the arrest but very good thereafter because it will touch the hearts of many and draw them to join the struggle against the corruption and manipulation of Mr Banda and his cronies... I have a vision that the arrest of M'membe and Nchito will be a blessing in disguise that will add more fuel to the fire in the hearts of Zambians. The move will inevitably lead to a clean-up operation. As such, if some Christians begin to pray for the arrest of M'membe, I will not be surprised. God can use the temporary triumph of evil as a threshold to common good and righteousness."

Fr Bwalya said Zambians were able to relate most of their suffering to corrupt practices.

"Zambians today are also able to attribute missing links everywhere to corruption," said Fr Bwalya. "People know that they have to bring their own beddings to the hospital because of corruption. They know that lack of medicines and mealie-meal is due to corruption. People know that privatisation did not benefit the ordinary people because of the corrupt manner in which some of the public assets were sold. In general, people know very well that 90 per cent of their suffering today is due to corruption perpetrated by government and selfish politicians."

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