Everybody is innocent until proved guilty by a court of law therefore transparency international (TIZ) is being mischievous for criticising the appointment of Dora Siliya as a Minister Father Frank Bwalya has said.
He has advised TIZ to leave Petauke member of Parliament Dora Siliya alone as there is nothing wrong with President Lungu appointing her as Minister of Energy and Water Development.
TIZ has criticised President Edgar Lungu for appointing Ms Siliya as Minister of Energy when she was facing criminal charges of abuse of office.
Fr Bwalya said although Ms. Siliya was in court she has not been found guilty.
“Our laws are very clear, nobody is guilty until proven guilty and Ms. Siliya has not being found guilty by the court of law regarding the issues that TIZ maybe referring to,” Fr. Bwalya said.
He said he was confident that President Lungu had made a right decision by appointing Ms. Siliya to lead the energy sector, especially now that the country was facing the challenge of a power deficit.
Fr Bwalya stated that he was confident that Ms. Siliya would deliver to people’s expectations, adding that she was one of the most hardworking women the country has ever had.
“We trust the judgement of President Lungu and we know that this decision is a right one, especially during this time of the power deficit, we needed a minister in that space as quickly as possible and we know that the president has always been very wide in his appointment and even this time around it’s a good appointment,” he said.
Fr. Bwalya wished Ms Siliya success as she endeavoured in her new job.
He encouraged Ms. Siliya to be strong as the ministry she had been appointed to had serious challenges.
“We wish honourable Minister Siliya success in this very challenging ministry especially that she is coming at a time when Zambians are expecting a lot in terms of strategic planning and also to come up with the means to reduce our power deficit,” he said.
In a statement made available to Daily Nation by TIZ Information Officer Charles Chulu, Mr. Chulu charged that President Lungu had broken the promise he made to the Zambian people during the official opening of Parliament that he would not protect anyone facing corruption charges.
He charged that in April 2015, law enforcement agencies arrested and charged Ms Siliya for abuse of authority of office and that the matter was currently active in court.
“In contrast to his statement in Parliament which us as TIZ praise him for, he has appointed Hon. Dora Siliya when he knows very well that she is facing criminal charges of abuse of office,” Mr. Chulu said.
He said the President must realise that the appointment of Ms. Siliya was sending a wrong message to would-be corruption offenders.
“The President must realize that this appointment is sending a message that alleged criminality and corruption pays as long as one can render political support to the ruling party,” he said.