Setting up commission of inquiry into gassing a waste of money – Fr Luonde

ZAMBIANS are not interested in being fooled and taken for jolly rides by the government on matters that affect them, says Fr Richard Luonde.

Fr Luonde in an interview said the suggested commission of inquiry into the gassing incidents would be a waste of the already scarce resources.

“Setting up a commission of inquiry to inquire into the gassing that has taken place in some parts of our land will be a shear waste of money and a way of running away from telling the Zambians what truly transpired. People were being gassed and taken to hospital where they were examined and later discharged but we were not told the type of chemicals that were being used in that gassing. Is this commission of inquiry going to go back to the people who were being gassed and find out how that happened? That will not work,” Fr Luonde said.

“How many commissions of inquiries have we had as Zambians and what has come out of them? Zero. We are no longer interested in being fooled as Zambians. We have had enough of being taken as docile people and being taken for granted as people who cannot learn and come to know the truth.”

He called on the security wings to enhance investigations into the gassing incidences.

“These people who are doing these criminal and unChristian acts of gassing people, some of them have been arrested. Let the security wings concentrate on those who have been arrested so that at the end of it they can be able to reveal what exactly happened. They will reveal who their senders, their funders are, that will be inquiry enough. Let the money go to the security wings,” Fr Luonde said. “The commissioners who are going to be appointed are simply going there to make money. Some of them are even celebrating saying ‘here comes money again’. We are tired, the Zambian economy is limping. People are starving, all they need is the growth of the economy, not setting up of commissions of inquiry which have yielded nothing in our land. What has happened to Zambia in terms of criminality has never happened before since independence.”

He charged that something was wrong in the country which was making people abuse each other.

“Today, fellow Zambians are trying to mistreat, ill-treat their own citizens, then something must be wrong and this thing that is wrong must be addressed head on. We don’t need any commission of inquiry,” Fr Luonde said.

“I’m appealing to the Head of State [Edgar Lungu] not to go ahead with appointing the commission of inquiry into gassing, it will be a shear waste of time. Let the investigative wings get to the ground. Most of the people are already in detention, why appoint a commission of inquiry?”

He said Zambians could not easily forget the gassing incidents because: “it has happened for the first time in the history of Zambia and we must be serious on how we handle this. If people have been arrested, let those people give information to the investigative wings then Zambia will come to know the truth.”

Fr Luonde said the economy was collapsing.

“Let us be restrictive in the usage of the little money that we are remaining with after paying huge loans. Let us use it on the good of our nation and to the development of our nation, not appointing commissions,” said Fr Luonde.

After months of hush, except his Facebook and off-the-cuff airport runway remarks on gassing, President Lungu used Parliament on Friday to tell perpetrators of the vice that they will be “crushed and buried.”

The occasion was the President’s address to the National Assembly on progress made in the application of national values and principles, as per Article 9 (2) of the 2016 amended Republican Constitution.

“As Commander-In-Chief of the defence forces and Head of State and government, I want to promise Zambians that the enemies of our people will be crushed and buried. To this effect, I’m seriously considering constituting a Commission of Inquiry to get to the bottom of these gassing attacks,” President Lungu said, with his voice drowned with applause from his think-alike in the House. “Be rest assured that all the culprits will be brought to book, regardless of their standing in society. The enemy will surely be defeated and life will return to normal for our people, sooner rather than later.”

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