THE UPND has called on President Edgar Lungu to immediately step down owing to more revelations of money laundering by senior government officials as contained in the 2018 Financial Intelligence Centre Trends report.
And the UPND has challenged the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Drug Enforcement Commission to show their relevance to the Zambian public which pays their salaries by moving to arrest individuals mentioned in the Financial Intelligence Centre reports.
In a statement yesterday, UPND deputy secretary general for politics Patrick Mucheleka said morally, the FIC report was reason enough for President Lungu to resign with immediate effect.
The report has highlighted the continued acquisition of property using laundered funds and that some companies that are not registered with the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) were awarded government contracts.
The 2018 Financial Intelligence Centre has revealed an increase in cases of suspicious transactions amounting to K6 billion.
FIC analysed 176 suspicious transaction reports of tax evasion, fraud, corruption and money laundering of which 80 were disseminated to law enforcement agencies.
Mucheleka stated that failure to President Lungu to decisively act on the FIC reports of 2017 and 2018, he would not rule out the Head of State was also involved in the serious plunder of the country’s financial resources.
“We are also calling on genuine Patriotic Front members to demand for Mr Lungu to step down as party president for he is a liability to both the nation and the party. The 2018 FIC report has all the evidence of corruption and theft amounting to K6.1 billion posing a question why President Lungu has failed to act when the corruption and theft involve a select few PF thieves,” Mucheleka stated.
“We cannot rule out the possibility that Mr Lungu is also involved in the serious plunder of our financial resources for failure to decisively act on the FIC reports of 2017 and 2018. This latest report explains why the country is facing liquidity problems as most of the money is held in the hands of a few PF members.”
Mucheleka questioned how President Lungu could justify Lusaka Province minister Bowman Lusambo’s donation of goods worth over K1.5 million in Kabushi Constituency when his salary could clearly not afford that kind of expenditure even if he saved for five years.
“If we consider the 2017 FIC report standing at K4.5 billion and add to the 2018 report which stands at K6.1 billion; we have a total of K10.6 billion laundered money, stolen from this economy into private hands, but the Head of State can afford to look the other side?
“When corruption allegations against former South African president Jacob Zuma hit the roof, the African National Congress (ANC) did not wait for that country’s presidential and general elections to deal with the matter, but the strong opposition voice and disenchantment from within the ANC ranks weighed in on president Zuma to step down and the ANC did the right thing and re-called him accordingly,” Mucheleka recalled.
He further challenged members of the ruling party who cared for the country to ask President Lungu to step down owing to the glaring financial plunder in the 2017 and 2018 FIC reports.
Mucheleka maintained that President Lungu was a liability to the country such that he could not take any action against himself going by the FIC reports.
“We feel it’s not strange or difficult for PF to ask Mr Lungu to step down if they care about the future of this country. The PF leader has failed the people of Zambia, lamentably. If the money which has been stolen was invested, correctly the economy of Zambia could not have been in the intensive care unit (ICU) as the case is under the PF,” Mucheleka stated.
He challenged President Lungu to fire those named in the FIC report to demonstrate that he was ‘clean’ of what his known ministers were cited for.
“He needs all of us, both opposition and PF, to unshackle him from this corruption and theft he is engaged in by retiring him now. If Mr Lungu is not part of those people who have stolen the money, why is he failing to act to people’s expectations? We challenged Mr Lungu to fire all those connected to the evidence contained in the FIC report if he is clean himself or step down with immediate effect,” he said.
Mucheleka lamented that Zambians were tired of PF corruption and untold theft of national financial resources.
He stated that the majority were suffering at the expense of a handful benefitting from being in President Lungu’s inner circle.
“We are also calling on the Anti-Corruption Commission and Drug Enforcement Commission to show their relevance to the people of Zambia who are paying their salaries. As a party, UPND wishes to commend the FIC for exposing these financial crimes, especially after taking into account the challenges that they have gone through in their operations. The UPND government in office tomorrow would deal with all FIC reports that had been swept under the carpet by the corrupt PF regime to bring a stop to corruption and theft of public funds,” said Mucheleka.