DETAINED United Progressive People president Saviour Chishimba says a president who steals is a thief.
Speaking on Diamond TV’s programme dubbed Costa yesterday evening which was pre-recorded on Thursday before he was arrested by plain-clothes police officers at the private television station in Lusaka, Chishimba wondered how the presidency could be free of impropriety when it was ‘masked’ with immunity.
We need to have a system that protects corruption. How can someone you call President, with immunity…. The President of Zambia, and I’m not necessarily talking about President Lungu, [but] I’m talking about the presidency as an institution… you go and clog the presidency with immunity!
You can’t give immunity to the presidency that he cannot be prosecuted. You may probably put immunity to protect the President against civil action but when it comes to criminal charges, you cannot put immunity on corruption! If the President today steals, don’t call him the President [but] call him a thief. A thief is a thief and there’s nothing like iyi impupu ikalamba, iyi impupu inono (this is a big thief while the other one is a small thief). You can’t put immunity on corruption!
The opposition leader, who is currently detained at Woodlands Police Station in Lusaka since Thursday and has been denied bond, also observed that the problem that was widespread in Zambia was that most people “idolised” money.
Just because I’m president I think that I can buy the people; we think that money is the Alpha and Omega; money begins to rule. But the Bible says in Proverbs 16:32 that a man who does not rule over his spirit is like a city which is destroyed,
“Mark my words; these are people who have stolen from Zambians, who have built mansions [but] they will not live in those houses. This country belongs to God! How can they be talking about 2021 [general elections] before they even build a single toilet [for ordinary Zambians]? Is that normal? That tells you and me that these people are not interested in driving the development agenda.”
And Chishimba questioned President Edgar Lungu on his impractical pledges of job creation for the young people.
President Lungu promised young people one million jobs and from there, he promised them another 500,000 jobs. [But] how many jobs have been created? When you get the power, concentrate on delivering to the people of Zambia. Dr [Frederick] Chiluba used to say that incumbency is defended by works,