Fire Chitotela and his PS, demands NDC

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Chitotela

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on President Edgar Lungu to immediately dismiss Housing and Infrastructure Minister Ronald Chitotela and his permanent secretary Charles Mushota.

The NDC General Secretary Mwenya Musenge says the demand comes in the wake of the duo’s interrogation by the ACC.

And the Southern Africa Network Against Corruption (SANAC) has welcomed the move by the ACC to interrogate and investigate Chitotela and Mushota for abuse of authority of office when the dual directed the Roads Development Agency (RDA) to buy them a motor vehicle each.

In a statement today, Musenge his party is of the view that the President should dismiss the duo to allow the ACC to do their investigation into the allegations.

“President Lungu has always prided himself to be a champion of the corruption crusade. If indeed Mr. Lungu abhors corruption, he should demonstrate leadership and fire the two named officials.

“In his address to Parliament last week, the Head of State passionately spoke about graft and good governance. The whole nation is anxiously waiting to see if the president won’t mince his words.

“The dismissal of the two officials will further give more room to the ACC to conduct their probe into allegations of abuse of office by the named officers,” he said.

Musenge said If the two are not fired, members of the public will cast doubt on President Lungu’s anti corruption crusade as there has always been doubt if he is genuine when he discusses the fight against corruption.

And the former Copperbelt Province Minister says the ACC should also investigate the alleged corrupt activities at State House.

“As NDC, we want the ACC to move a step further and take the corruption investigations to state house. They have been suggestions that the inner circle of President Lungu is extremely corrupt.

“As NDC, we praise the ACC for pursuing Chitotela and his associate.We have all the confidence that the ACC will thread well in this matter,” he said.

Meanwhile, Southern Africa Network Against Corruption (SANAC) executive director Gregory Chifire says while the move by the ACC to interrogate Chitotela and Mushota is welcome, his organisation is concerned with the inertia with which the Commission is handling the matter.

“We must hasten to state that we are concerned over the inertia with which the ACC is handling this matter. It is our prayer that this is not one of those attempts to use state institution to launder corruption tugged individuals so as to create the over used and boring statement often made by those controlling state power that their colleagues having been investigated and cleared by the ACC . We have been through that road before,” Chifire said in a statement.

He noted that the case at hand is a prima facie case of abuse of authority of office, which is prosecutable at any competent court of jurisdiction.

“As SANAC, we are following this matter with keen interest because it has for a long time raised a lot of dust at the RDA. As a way of covering up this abuse, the dual engineered the dismissal of two Directors at the Agency, namely Loyce Saili, who was Director of Communication and Corporate affairs and Mwaka Ngoma who was Director Legal Services as well as Engineer Kanyuka Mumba who objected to the purchase of the two vehicles.”

Chifire called on the ACC to extend their investigations to include the RDA Director and CEO Elias Mwape for complicity in the matter.

“It is an open secret that the dual, in an act of desperation, through Mr. Mwape, forced workers at the Agency to sign confidentiality documents as a vow to never discuss this matter. This is in violation of the constitution of the Republic of Zambia which among others calls for citizens to defend the republic of Zambia against inimical elements and further goes against our National Principles and values as enshrined in Article 8 of the Republican Constitution.”

He pointed out that this is not the first time Chitotela and Mushota have come under the spotlight for corrupt practice.

“We are also aware that Mr. Chitotela is being investigated for other offences relating to corruption. This is not the first time that Mr. Chitotela and his PS, Mr. Mushota have been charged with corruption. Mr. Chitotela was fired by the late President Sata, while Mr. Mushota was fired by the late President Mwanawasa.

“As a way of ensuring that there is no interference with investigations, we demand that President Lungu relieves Mr. Chitotela and his PS, Mr. Mushota of their duties. We further demanded that the RDA board sends the CEO on leave to pave way for investigations.”

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