(By Richard Luo in Sinda)
EASTERN Province chairperson of the Felix Mutati MMD faction Jacob Mwanza says it erodes confidence when high profiled government officials are found in corrupt activities.
In an interview following the Anti-Corruption Commission’s arrest of infrastructure and housing minister Ronald Chitotela, Mwanza said it was a shame and discouraging to see government officials being implicated in cases.
“It’s not a good development to hear because it robs confidence in these high people because these are the ones that should guide the nation in a right pathway,” he said. “But if the compass is not giving a right way then where are the citizens going to find the way? It’s not okay and it makes sad reading.”
Mwanza asked the ACC and the courts to ensure the matter was handled well if it was to give confidence to the nation.
“I wouldn’t comment much as we leave everything in the hands of the ACC to do a better job and also the courts. The citizens have taken keen interest to see how the matter will end but zisathele mumazila (privately). People are waiting to see the effectiveness of the ACC and courts,” Mwanza said. “We would comment much after the court has completed its task. As for now I would just say it’s a sad thing for a minister kapena kuti nduna ya boma upezeka mu nkhani monga zotele [or a government official to find themselves in such matters].”
Meanwhile, Mwanza said the MMD [the Felix Mutati faction] would be conducting a card renewal exercise on the Copperbelt adding that the party was still valued by most Zambians due to its good governance record.
And an evangelist in Nyanje area, Joseph Phiri, urged the ACC to continue its work to root out corruption in public office.
“The step taken [Chitotela’s arrest] is very good because those are the same people that destroy the name of the President. The President [Edgar Lungu] is working but unfortunately it’s such top officials that are painting [government] dark and when such steps are taken, it will surely show that government does not take corruption lightly so that the words of the President to fight corruption is paramount, real and factual,” Phiri said.
He said the high poverty communities were enduring was fueled by people in government offices.
“People are suffering yet thieves are seated in government offices. Too bad but we shall see how many should be exposed on corruption charges,” said Phiri.