Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rupiah under attack over corruption fight

Rupiah under attack over corruption fight
Written by Patson Chilemba
Saturday, March 21, 2009 8:20:15 AM

RUPIAH Banda's interaction with Frederick Chiluba is bringing the fight against corruption into question, Patriotic Front (PF) spokesperson Given Lubinda observed yesterday.

Commenting on the continued interaction between President Banda and former president Chiluba, Lubinda said it was sad that President Banda, who is supposed to be complainant number one over the corruption charges facing Chiluba, was according the former president very high recognition.

He urged President Banda to desist from interacting with Chiluba, saying the former president should be accorded treatment befitting a criminal suspect.

Lubinda said President Banda held so much power and that his interaction with Chiluba would not augur well with regards to the cases the former president was facing. "He's bringing the whole matter under serious speculation. Chiluba is now being given status at

public fora. He's being accorded more attention than the one, which should be given to a suspect. You never find a complainant sharing drinks and socializing with a person they have taken to court. Rupiah Banda is the first complainant I have seen who after reporting somebody to police for a criminal offence goes to wine with the accused," Lubinda said. "This brings into question the seriousness of Rupiah Banda in the fight against corruption. We should not just be heard to say we are fighting corruption. We should also be seen to be fighting corruption. We should abhor corruption. Rupiah Banda must disassociate himself from being seen with suspects until they are proven innocent. Rupiah Banda is not dissociating himself with those facing corruption charges. He's undermining the fight because the President in this country has so much power."

On MMD spokesperson Benny Tetamashimba's statement that Chiluba should be given respect and that he had not yet being convicted of corruption, Lubinda said Tetamashimba was the most inconsistent person in MMD and the government.

He said during late president Levy Mwanawasa's reign, Tetamashimba used to be a very serious critic of Chiluba and those who were facing corruption charges in MMD. Lubinda said Tetamashimba had now U-turned because his new boss had taken a different approach to that of president Mwanawasa.

On Thursday, Lusaka lawyer Dr Rodger Chongwe said it was unethical for President Banda to be interacting publicly with a disgraced leader like Chiluba who was crowded with criminal cases.

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