By: Anthony Bwalya
The reaffirmation of the judgement of the Constitutional Court directing that all former Ministers who illegally occupied office at the height of a general election in 2016 pay back all such monies and allowances drawn illegally from the treasury, is yet another consolidation of the UPND as the principal guardian of the people’s public interest and welfare.
It was the UPND who vehemently argued against what was the blatant disregard of the Republican Constitution by Mr. Edgar Lungu and his cabinet friends, while the Patriotic Front (PF) played its usual role of criminal conspirator and defended its own.
It was the UPND, through our Secretary General Mr. Stephen Katuka, who took the PF criminal elements to task and approached the Concourt to protect public interest.
But let us be very clear, that it is NOT true, that Mr. Edgar Lungu, incompetent as he might be, was unaware of this illegality at the time.
The President knew exactly what he was playing at, and his actions were a deliberate, premeditated assault and disregard for the supreme law of the land.
Mr. Lungu wanted the extra $500,000 out of the treasury and into PF elections, and the perfect avenue to draw such money was to direct it into the pockets of his Ministers illegally in the form of salaries and allowances.
If President Lungu may wish to play dumb and claim ignorance of the requirement of the law for Ministers to vacate office after the dissolution of Parliament, then he ought to RESIGN forthwith. It means he is not fit to be President if he cannot get right the most basic of decisions and defend the Republican Constitution at whose pleasure he serves.
On the other hand, if Mr. Lungu claims to have followed the advice of the then Attorney General on the issue, then let him come clean and PUBLISH the OFFICIAL LEGAL ADVICE given to him and the government on the matter at the time. If the Attorney General’s advice was faulty, then he is calpable and guilty of PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT and thus needs to be professionally disciplined.
Zambians may wish to recall, that it was Mr. Lungu who signed a bogus guarantee on an illegal $500m LOAN from bogus lenders “ON BEHALF OF ZESCO” in the middle of the 2016 election, a guarantee that was subsequently revoked by former Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe.
And yet again, we have the PF regime under this President wanting to use ZESCO to illegally bring in $2.14bn of campaign financing for purposes of the 2021 general election. Can Mr. Lungu, the PF and ZESCO explain what the urgency is for this money and what the collateral requirements shall be?
This is criminal, and may all those Executives at ZESCO know, that if they will allow themselves to be used as conduits of criminal sabotage against our Zambian Republic, they shall fully be held to account.
Ultimately, every individual who illegally benefitted from the premeditated disobedience of the Republican Constitution is individually liable and must PAY BACK THE MONEY.