THE amount of corruption in this country is threatening, says President Michael Sata.
Speaking during the swearing-in of former Task Force on Corruption chairperson Maxwell Nkole as home affairs permanent secretary and Stella Libongani as deputy Inspector General of Police at State House yesterday, President Sata said his government was carrying out reforms in the police service in order to effectively fight corruption in the nation.
"The amount of corruption in this country is threatening. This morning Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is supposed to pay K4 billion to a front of somebody who was in my office because the scans which are at Nakonde belong to the government of the Republic of Zambia through Zambia Revenue Authority," President Sata said.
"And they give to these conmen, they say they are the ones who are going to manage, and they are supposed to release K4 billion. So the three of you Nkole, Inspector General of police Martin Malama and Libongani are all policemen, we have to sweep this corruption."
President Sata said he had dissolved "another conduit of corruption", the Road Development Agency (RDA).
"How do you say you have given roads without a contract, without tender? And when they are paying the money we don't know where the money is coming from…now this company which was supposed to receive K4 billion this morning, this is a bogus agreement made between Zambia Revenue Authority, Bradwell Global Corporation Limited, you know who they are and they put fake names behind those who are the fronts," President Sata said.
"They don't want to put their real names but we know who the people behind are and I don't want to witch-hunt, but Inspector General, permanent secretary, Madam Libongani we have to see to it that this money is not paid."
President Sata instructed ZRA to immediately have their own employees manage the scanners at Nakonde border, and not "these bogus criminals".
"But in the meantime you have to go in and find out how much they have already paid to these con people. We know them," he said.
President Sata said justice minister Sebastian Zulu should come up with legislation to repeal the Pensions Act so that the retirement age could be increased from 55 to 65, saying there were a lot of people who were 55 and still wanted to continue serving.
"Now you can't run a government with people on contract, Chief Justice is on contract, Army Commander contract…then we have to amend the Judicial Service Commission Act, how can you have a person who has an interest, the Chief Justice, to be the chairman of Judicial Service Commission because he is supposed to be supervised, but he is the chairman," President Sata.
"The same thing applies to the Bank of Zambia. Bank of Zambia chairman is the Governor. He is supposed to be supervised by the board but he is the chairman. So you find there is a lot of corruption, moral corruption when appointing people, more especially people of the opposite sex."
President Sata said the police service needs restructuring because the current structure was not effective.
He ordered the Secretary to the Cabinet to hand him instruments to regularise Muchinga Province so that it could become the country's 10th province.
President Sata said all the police division commands would be commanded by commissioners of police, saying this would be effective in containing crime.
He said he had introduced the position of deputy Inspector General of Police to bridge the gap between the top most position in the service and that of commissioners.
President Sata said Libongani should convey the message to her colleagues that the police service was not only for men.
"I have found that women can be much more effective in combating crime. Men are more corrupt than women…we are going to strengthen the women in the service.
We are going to strengthen training school and we have to arrange for training locally and abroad for Zambia Police, Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force and ZNS (Zambia National Service) because we are not an island," he said.
On the appointment of Nkole, whom he referred to as 'Mr Task Force', President Sata said Nkole was not new to the job he had been appointed to, and that instead of restricting himself to a small Task Force he was now carrying a much larger 'task force' with human beings at his disposal.
"And I know very shortly you are going to throw your walking stick, you will start running because this is what unemployment can do, people become old too early. Congratulations," he said.
President Sata said there should be a re-introduction of the non-existent medical services in the police service and other security wings, and the same applied to education.
"People become corrupt when they can't pay school fees for their children. But all the same get back to work and Mr minister of home affairs Kennedy Sakeni is not new he will buy you Nkole a motorised wheel chair. We know where to find motorised wheelchairs," President Sata said.
And Nkole said he received his appointment with great humility because he had been out of service from the time his contract at the former Task Force on Corruption was terminated 24 months ago.
He said he was thankful that President Sata felt it wise for him to contribute towards the fight against crime and corruption.
Nkole said he was ready for the challenge and to help contribute to the governance of the nation.
Libongani said her appointment would open up more doors for more women appointments to serve in senior government positions.
She said women could operate just as equally or even better than their male counterparts.
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