TIZ calls for life audits of cabinet ministers

By Staff Reporter

Transparency International Zambia has called on President Edgar Lungu to facilitate the under taking of life audits for all cabinet ministers.

In a statement, TI Zambia chapter president Rueben Lifuka said the only way to deal with public concerns of self and illicit enrichment among cabinet ministers, is to subject everyone to a life style audit.

Lifuka said his organization has received the news of the arrest of Housing and Infrastructure minister Ronald Chitotela on additional charges, with great concern.

“Despite the organization’s earlier pleas to President Edgar Lungu to relieve the Minister of his duties, to allow him focus on defending himself on allegations of corruption, this has not been done,” he said.

Lifuka said the new allegations provide the organization another opportunity to appeal to both President Lungu and Chitotela to take this advice seriously.

“While our call is by no means an indication that Hon. Chitotela is guilty, we think that our leaders should do everything possible to ensure that investigations into any allegations of wrong doing are not fettered in any way possible,” he said

Lifuka said that President Lungu needed to show leadership and ensure that no person is shielded from a free and independent investigation.

“A serving Cabinet Minister is not an ordinary person and one who wields a lot of power and influence,” he stated. “It will not help the government which professes to be serious about the fight against corruption if those who are politically connected are seemingly treated differently in the eyes of the law”.

He said former community development minister, Emerine Kabanshi was fired on mere allegations and it has taken several months before she was formally arrested and charged.

“President Lungu’s predecessors took action against ministers who were facing allegations of wrong doing- President Lungu has to send a strong message to his ministers and all those working with him that he will not protect them from the long arm of the law whenever allegations of impropriety arise,’’ he said.

“The political and administrative consequences of this lack of action on the part of the President will soon come to manifest when other public servants refuse to vacate office on account that they have not been found guilty”.