LEADER of the opposition in Parliament Jack Mwiimbu says the Zambia Security Intelligence Service must work towards rescuing the country from corruption.
In his debate to support the 2018 budget estimates of expenditure for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service in Parliament yesterday afternoon, Mwiimbu, who is Monze Central UPND member of parliament, raised a number of issues which he considered to be pertinent to the wellbeing of Zambia.
“Madam chairperson, it is my considered view that this particular institution (the Zambia Security Intelligence Service) should play a pivotal role pertaining to the eradication of corruption, financial embezzlements and other vices that threaten the very core of Zambia as an institution. I do agree with the sentiments that have been expressed by Her Honour the Vice-President where she did allude to the fact that one of the roles of the Zambia Security Intelligence Service is to fight corruption,” Mwiimbu debated and further told hecklers that “that’s why some people are bootlickers to the core; they can’t think on their own”.
“It is trite to state that corruption has reached endemic levels and it is the responsibility of [the] Zambia Security Intelligence Service to assist other wings of government to curb corruption. Corruption threatens the very survival of Zambia as an institution.”
He also said Zambia was sliding into insolvency due to government officials’ unbridled economic mismanagement.
“We have said on several occasions on the floor of this House that as the situation is obtaining in Zambia, Zambia is on the verge of being bankrupt. We do not have money [because] most of the most that we are raising through taxation and other revenues is being embezzled, is being misappropriated,” said Mwiimbu.
“Those who are saying ‘question’ are aware of the Auditor General’s report which has been tabled on the floor of this House and the levels of corruption, according to that report, have risen spontaneously – unless we want to sink our heads in the sand and pretend that all is well. The issues of corruption have risen, issues of misapplication and misuse of money have risen and it’s a fact. The people have been cited in various reports are known and nothing has been done! We call upon the Zambia Security Intelligence Service to advise those in government that these issues are threatening the survival of Zambia as a nation.”
Kanchibiya PF member of parliament Dr Martin Malama also debated the same vote.
And Chirundu UPND member of parliament Douglas Syakalima wondered how the government could opt to under-fund the Zambia Security Intelligence Service when it recently made a procurement of 42 fire engines at an extravagant total amount of US$42 million.
Of the total K761 million budget to the intelligence, the government has allocated K61 million towards operations of the institution for the year 2018, a figure Syakalima says is too insignificant.
He noted that governments all over the world were spending huge sums of money towards State security and intelligence as a way of maintaining peace and territorial integrity but that the PF government was doing the exact opposite.
“Intelligence is very expensive! The reason why it is expensive is because it protects a country. So, if you are going to be doing child’s play like this…. This is country is bankrupt and the source is corruption,” stressed Syakalima.
“You are topping the table; debts, you are number one [in sub-Sahara], corruption, disease, hunger, squalor – number one in everything!”