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Corruption fight has been politicized – Lungu

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says the corruption fight has been politicised.

And President Edgar Lungu says time has come for the UN Security Council to be representative, democratic and accountable to all member states, irrespective of status.

In an interview with the Voice of America in his hotel suite in New York where he was attending the UN General Assembly, President Lungu said

he does not interfere with the work of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

According to Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe, President Lungu addressed a couple of issues that he had been accused of not lending his ear to.

President Lungu expressed his frustrations at the performance of investigative wings.

He also while exhibiting how democratic his administration is, President Lungu drew a line between freedom of speech and criminality.

He singled out a series of appalling accusations labelled against him, including the mysterious 48 houses, the drug trafficking, among others.

President Lungu said some people in his Administration were accused of corruption and when he drops them, they champion the fight against corruption with insults and somehow attain hero status.

He wondered how he got roped in the mysterious 48 houses.

“First, the houses were said to belong to me, then my special assistant, then my daughter and the case is concluded. I can’t fire anyone for failing to investigate, if I do I am accused of interfering in this case,” he said

He said what comforts him was that all Presidents in Zambia, from Dr Kenneth Kaunda to Michael Sata, were good people as long as they were no longer in office.

“So I don’t worry, I should just do my work and when my time is up, they will say he was a good man,” President Lungu said.

He said what troubles him a lot was poverty.

President Lungu said he had to grapple with the cost of living, cost reflective pricing of essential commodities like electricity and fuel and fake news.

President Lungu said he knew politically not attending to pricing could cost him the presidency but also believed the economy could only be attractive for investment if the State does not engage in price controls.

“Who can invest in a sector where there is no profit?” he asksed. “Sometimes elections could be around the corner and you just have to bite the bullet, explain to the people why certain measures are being undertaken by government.”

He said no government goes into power to kill its people.

President Lungu said he felt the relationship between Lusaka and Washington was not at its best and attributed such state of affairs to fake news; some of it emanating from the USA, including drug trafficking allegations.

“1 have been accused of spying on the opposition using a Chinese company, I have been accused of selling the national broadcaster, and other parastatals,” he said.

President Lungu said he was determined to make a difference in Zambia and when all was said and done, Zambians would judge him.

And presenting a statement covering a plethora of key issues affecting Zambia, Africa and the entire world at the Plenary of the High Level Segment of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, President Lungu said the absence of Africa on the Security Council was a flawed omission and could not continue to be entertained.

He called for urgent reforming of the United Nations Security Council.

“To be effective and efficient, there is need to reform the United Nations, particularly as we will, over the coming year, commemorate its 75 years of existence, and reflect on its future,” President Lungu.

“Time has come for the Security Council to be representative, democratic and accountable to all member states, irrespective of status. This is essential for its integrity as the custodian of international peace,” he said.

He said the justification was ‘that Africa constitutes the second largest bloc of the UN membership.’

With a population of 1.2 billion people, President Lungu wondered how Africa had no presence on the UN Security Council.

The UN Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the UN charged with ensuring peace and security, accepting new members to the United Nations and approving changes to its Charter.

Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations and international sanctions, as well as, the authorisation of military action. It is the only UN body with authority to issuing binding resolutions to member states.

Permanent members to the Security Council are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the US.

Meanwhile, President Lungu has encouraged Zambians to reject alien practices that not only threaten Zambian values but undermine the country’s foundation as a Christian Nation.

President Lungu said his administration’s promise in July this year to Zambian that he would not introduce gay rights in exchange for donor aid was unequivocal.

He said certain rights enjoyed in other parts of the world could not be replicated in Zambia because they were taboo to many if not all Zambian cultures.

“Marriage is specifically a union between a man and a woman in our jurisdiction,” he said in a statement issued by special assistant to the President for press and public relations Isaac Chipampe.

He added that just like Christianity, Zambian laws proscribe sexual relationships between people of the same sex and if found guilty such people could serve time in jail.

President Lungu has since cautioned politicians being courted by foreign powers to embrace gay rights to think about the future of Zambia even under the lure of huge finances being dangled by foreign powers.

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