Act on FIC reports or leave the stage

The Financial Intelligence Center (FIC) annual report has revealed yet again that corruption under Edgar Lungu’s Government has reached alarming levels. This corruption and resulting high taxes should worry every Zambian, who is now overtaxed, cannot access health care nor have a quality education. This corruption coupled with the strange act of PF’s expropriation of KCM has further eroded investor confidence. We can safely say this country is in economic turmoil.

In this report it states that as of 2018, K6.1 billion had been stolen by scams and rackets which involved politicians in the PF. This 6.1billion is up from K4.5 billion reported by FIC in 2017. Edgar Lungu was handed that report, but he did NOTHING. Now he has been handed this latest report which cites examples of terrorist funding from Zambia and he still does NOTHING, in the meantime the country is haemorrhaging and the people of Zambia are paying dearly while their President is preoccupied with defending criminals.

UPND’s policy of zero tolerance on corruption is clear and this is why we say: Mr Lungu must reflect on his insatiable appetite for corruption because we, in the UPND, together with the people of Zambia would like to channel these resources and public funds to improving the welfare of every Zambian.

In the midst of a distressed economy where government is failing to pay salaries and suppliers, such financial leakage must be stopped. The UPND has guided that oversight institutions such as Anti-Corruption Commission, Drug Enforcement Commission, National Prosecution Authority and the Judiciary need to not only be strengthened but given independence to fulfil their mandate without fear or favour. The same people being investigated are the same ones responsible for appointing people to positions in these institutions.

The level of the greed by certain individuals is staggering, as reflected in the FIC report. The culture of corruption has become endemic and synonymous with the PF leadership. We are greatly concerned about this as the rot has continued to deepen. Only a change of administration can avert such a decline in ethics and fiscal discipline. It is an insult to the millions of Zambians, suffering in this weak economy that is on its knees due to poor economic management and blatant corruption.

The loss of 6.1 Billion Kwacha in a space of 9 months is a clear indication that the PF has utterly failed to govern in the interest of Zambians; they’re on a path of destruction. This money would have cleared all arrears that UNZA has, would have provided water to all residents of Kitwe. This money would have been used to buy drugs in hospitals. Let me put this into perspective, the money stolen is 93% of the 2019 budget for roads, 272% of the 2019 budget for hospitals, 120% of our defence budget; 308% of water and sanitation. This is the cesspit that we are entertaining from the PF government.

We need total independence for the law enforcement agencies across the board, security of tenure for all employees must be guaranteed by the constitution.There should be an end to officers being fired in so called national interest for doing their job. We challenge the law makers to ensure that they develop laws to safeguard the law enforcement agencies. Secondly we demand that Edgar Lungu cracks the whip, he cannot tell us that he truly believes one fire engine can cost one million US dollars. Thirdly we demand that the ACC and other arms of the law take these matters up. One case is very clear, the procurement of fire engines does not need forensics, everyone can see there was corruption on a grand scale at play here.

Zambians deserve better. Enough is enough!

Hakainde Hichilema
*UPND President*

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