ECZ must not condone corruption and illegalities – Lungu


MINISTER of Home Affairs Edgar Lungu has advised the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) not to shift attention of the on-going debate on whether politicians whose elections were annulled due to corruption must be allowed to recontest parliamentary seats or not from itself to the courts.
He said ECZ must show leadership and act on evidence of corruption that is already in the domain of the courts and not wait for the courts to contact them.
“ECZ must not pass the buck,” Mr Lungu said, “they must own up and take action to stop those found wanting for corruption to be disallowed to recontest…the same applies to the Anti-Corruption Commission, what are they waiting for?” he wondered.
Conversely, Transparency International Zambia executive director Goodwill Lungu yesterday told ZNBC National Watch programme that ECZ must not condone corruption and illegalities openly because they may suffer a credibility loss.
“If the elections were annulled due to corruption,” the TIZ leader said, “it does not augur well for the ECZ to allow corrupt candidates to contest seats…this debate is important and it is healthy that we continue to discuss this until there is action.”
Mr Lungu (Minister of Home Affairs) specified the candidates that must be “acted upon” by the ECZ following massive corruption allegations as Dora Siliya, Maxwell Mwale and Mtolo Phiri, who all lost seats at one point or another due to evidence of corruption.
The debate has sucked in people like outgoing United States ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella who last week told the Daily Mail in an interview that corruption ought to be fought across party lines and emphasised the need for the electoral process to be corruption-free.
The ECZ has continued to run newspaper advertisements saying they are not responsible for correcting corrupt practices while ACC director general Roswin Wandi has declined to comment on the matter.