Last week, Edgar Lungu was in Northern Province where he met chiefs and inspected infrastructure projects accompanied by Minister of Health Chitalu Chifuya.
Recently, the ACC recorded a warn and caution statement from Dr Chilufya, who stands accused of owning property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
But activist Brebner Changala feels Edgar is discouraging the ACC by openly “wining and dining” with suspects.
“Dr Chilufya is a suspect in the eyes of the Anti-Corruption Commission. And in an ideal world with a credible government, he should have been either suspended or removed from Cabinet to pave way for investigations. But President Edgar Lungu seems to enjoy to wine and dine with suspects; he doesn’t put emphasis on fighting corruption. By his own actions, he is a major contributor to corruption in that more and more corruption suspects are under his dwelling,” says Changala. “How does it inspire the Anti-Corruption Commission with a Head of State who does not fight corruption? The ACC has clearly blown the whistle to say Dr Chilufya is corrupt, but the President is flying around with Dr Chilufya. The President should have suspended Dr Chilufya immediately so that ACC officers did not feel intimidated. The President must be told that he can’t destroy institutions of governance the same way he has destroyed PF. It is very discouraging for ACC officers who spend sleepless nights on corruption investigations. For the first time in the history of our country, we have a cabinet that is full of corruption suspects; criminal suspects and President Lungu sees nothing wrong with that. It is the more reason why PF should be kicked out next year. And I would not be surprised if all of them end up in Chimbokaila so that they can be having cabinet meetings there.”
He is right.
For how long have we seen Edgar in the company of wrong characters? Just look at his Cabinet and his associates!
As we have stated before on this matter, Edgar will not fire Dr Chilufya without a lot of pressure from the public. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that Edgar has very little respect for public opinion. Equally, it’s not in Dr Chilufya’s interest to resign. If he resigns that’s it, Dr Chilufya won’t come back even if he is cleared by ACC. Dr Chilufya has benefited a lot financially from being Minister of Health to leave that office just like that. That is a gold mine not only for Dr Chilufya but also of his boss and their party. Their interests in and with the pharmaceutical companies are gigantic. They will not abandon this without putting up a big fight. Edgar has surrounded himself with people like himself – crooks, thieves, corrupt elements of all hues. It is too much to expect Edgar to turn round and fight corruption.