Probe Ministers, Rueben Lifuka prods ACC

By Fulman Mukobeko

United Party for National Development (UPND) Choma Central Member of Parliament (MP) Cornelius Mweetwa (left) with TIZ President Rueben Lifuka (right) at Lusaka’s Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka -picture by Fulman Mukobeko.

Transperancy International Zambia(TIZ) president Reuben Lifuka says government contracts should not be given to bidders on political patronage.

Lifuka said during the Seminar on the Effectiveness of Anti-Corruption Bodies in Zambia, that  TIZ has a problem with party cadres who assume they should be given preference simply because they belong to the ruling party.

“Today we hear comments from senior government officials, which still suggests that ascendancy to power of a political party, is a license for supporters of that party to reap the benefits through award of a public contracts,” Lifuka observed.

He regretted: ” We read of party cadres demanding the resignation of government officials for denying them an opportunity to access government contracts.”

He regretted that political patronage, cronyism, peddling in influence are still rife in Zambia.

Lifuka said it is time Zambians started taking action to improve their wellbeing, stating that it is time that the Anti-Corruption Commission was fully facilitated to do their job.

He warned that in the fight against corruption there should be no sacred cows.

“All those suspected to be corrupt should be fully investigated and no one should be shielded for whatever reasons,” Lifuka said.

In apparent reference to former Patriotic Front(PF) Secretary General Wynter Kabimba, the TIZ chief said his institution will not allow what happened in the recent past, where a senior government official went with cadres to the ACC offices, merely to intimidate them from doing their work.

“We equally want to see an end to this trend of ACC becoming active in investigating leaders when these are fired  from government offices,” Lifuka stressed.

He said the ACC should not be used as tools for settling political scores, saying: ” we want to see an independent ACC which does its work without undue influence. ”