Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Milupi questions UPND's morality

Milupi questions UPND's morality
By Moses Kuwema and Kombe Chimpinde
Tue 19 Mar. 2013, 09:10 CAT

CHARLES Milupi has questioned UPND's morality in opposing the removal of Rupiah Banda's immunity when the opposition party not long ago strongly condemned the corruption in his regime.

Commenting on the removal of Banda's immunity based on money laundering, corruption and abuse of office revelations contained in a motion moved by justice minister Wynter Kabimba in Parliament on Friday, Milupi wondered why the UPND would want to maintain Banda's immunity when they were accusing him of corruption.

"First of all there is the moral argument, why do you want to maintain someone's immunity? Someone that you were accusing of being involved in corrupt activities, why do you want defend that? There are certain parties that I was with in parliament. They were very specific about the corruption in Banda's administration, even if they have changed their minds," he said.

Milupi said the UPND also agreed that it was wrong for Banda's government to remove the abuse of office clause from the Anti Corruption Commission Act.

He said instead of opposing the motion out rightly, the opposition should have gotten their members of parliament to understand why they needed to maintain Banda's immunity in the interest of the nation.

Milupi said as far as he was concerned, it was not in the interest of the nation to maintain Banda's immunity because of allegations of corruption leveled against him.

He said the tabling of the motion to remove Banda's immunity was within the members of parliament's rights.

"The issue of immunity to me is a misconception. It must be revisited in the constitution. If any element of immunity remains, it must cover only the actions taken on behalf of the state, not decisions that are taken to profit you personally if you are president or to profit your children or family especially when those decisions break the law. The argument from Mr Banda in the last few months was wrong. Because there are perceptions of corrupt activities so the argument should have never been 'no me I am okay because I am covered by immunity'. The argument should be 'I did not do wrong. Whatever I am being accused of,
it did not happen'," Milupi said.

And Milupi said he has difficulties accepting that the court could determine what parliament must discuss.

"If you espouse the principle of the separation of powers and as a former parliamentarian, I will have difficulties in accepting that when there is a motion before parliament, someone can run to court and stop parliament from discussing the motion," he said.

Meanwhile, Milupi said nobody should aspire to be president to make themselves and their cabinet rich.

He said the desire to be president should be based on the desire to serve the people.

"I hope Mr Sata and his ministers have taken a lesson from what they have done to Mr Banda. Even they themselves would be subjected to the same. They should change their ways. Everybody else must take a lesson that even when the immunity is there if there are perceptions of corruption, it should be lifted. The most important thing is that this sends a lesson to those of us who aspire to be in State House. State House is not meant for us to enrich ourselves but to serve the people" Milupi said.

He said the underdevelopment and suffering that was being experienced in the country needed to be sorted out and one of the impediments to that was corruption.

"You cannot fight corruption unless you start at the top. You must have the top absolutely clean and very abhorrent of any corrupt activities," he said.

Milupi said there should be no political interference in the prosecution of Banda and urged the institutions involved to carry out their work professionally.

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