By Gerald Nkisu Katayi

Some people have amassed wealth through stealing and plundering their places of work; in government or private firms and yet they live like heroes. It is now a common thing to see a station handy man driving an expensive car or a records clerk living in a mansion. Dr. Sondashi once said, “Workers steal from their employers; even those who make tea in offices, steal sugar and tea bags”. Are people employed to work or steal? Some people might say both! Is it true then to say behind every success story there’s a crime?

Not long ago a princess from a royal establishment who now lives in Lusaka decided to dress up a presidential candidate who could not afford to buy decent suits during the campaigns. Meaning he was a poor man. But soon after winning the elections, he became one of the worlds neat dressed men; on top of that owning property in and outside the country. Turning from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly over night.Going by the constitutional salary for a president, it is impossible to equate his salary and the property he acquired? Which formula did he use to get wealth during his presidency? Or was there something fishy? Some of these questions remain an answered.

Government workers in Zambia get away with theft so easily because their disciplinary codes are so tedious; it takes years for any one to be penalized. Some of them end up being retired in public interest and then pay them more on top of what they stole. It could be from this background that Mr. Mike Mulongoti is campaigning against “abuse of office” from the Ant-Corruption Act. There’s no reason for any sincere office bearer to react negatively to the consequences of abuse of office as Mr. Mulongoti is doing. It is now becoming common knowledge that Zambians are joining politics for plunder and not for service.

The Post Newspaper carried out an editorial which read in part… “It is inconceivable that public officers, such as Rupiah and his minions, can fight for the right to abuse their offices without consequence…” Yes, they want to abuse their offices without consequences. They want to cover their dark side so that the long arm of the law could not reach them. Otherwise, why fight against such a progressive law when there are laws which need to be changed like the Public Act which those in office use to oppressed their opponents?

Abuse of office comes in different ways, but one of them is stealing. Using one’s office to gather personal wealth, like stealing from the hospitals, schools and roads. This is mind boggling! And yet this has become a work culture and acceptable in Zambia; because there’s no political power to avert this scourge. Both the politicians and the law enforcement officers are involved in the plunder. This type of selfishness can destroy a country. T. Milton has carefully marked; Satan in his intense selfishness would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven. Through the plunder that takes place in private and government offices, individuals drive posh cars on dirty roads and around poor citizens. That is indeed reigning in hell and refusing to serve in heaven.

When you make money your god, it will plague you like the devil. A man is called selfish, not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s. Never one thing and seldom one person can make for success. It takes a number of them merging into one perfect whole.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Gerald Nkisu Katayi,

    If you were expecting FJT as Republican President to be dressing the same suits he had on as a trade unionist serving the workers in the country and oversease brainstorming at the international foras such as ILO, then you need deliverance from your spirit of jealous.Did Polish’s Lech Wa??sa change his dressing from a trade unionist to head of state? What of Brazil president — Luiz Inacio “LULA” DA SILVA? Then why in hell were you passionate in seeing our President wearing his old suits only? when all Presidents leave behind their old wardrobe on assending to power?

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  2. Mwata you ve missed the point of the article. Obvioulsy we all didnt expect or want FTJ to continue dressing himself in red and green suita even after assuming power. But the point is the amount of suits and how expensive they were. And the fact of the matters is that theres no way he could have afforded them on his salary. So where did he get the money from?

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  3. Ba katayi,its like this article is about FTJ? even the Benz in the picture is his GRZ SP (second president).Munoneko ne cisungu bakamba.

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  4. You have missed the point Baba. FJT amassed wealth inside and outside the country that doesn’t tie up with his renumeration as president by more a thousand times and inspite of all that we have continued as a nation to reward him.

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  5. Chiluba is a good example in this article. He is a thief everyone knows it. RB is following in his foot steps as they are bird of the same feathers.

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  6. Judge, you wrote “And the fact of the matters is that theres no way he could have afforded them on his salary”

    Your usual insulting culture on the blog aside, here again you have recklessly exposed your ignorance.Serving Presidents and their deputies world over don’t buy their own outfits, don’t buy food or their spouses cook food. They are 100 % served by the state according to the statutory of their offices. How come you don’t even know such basic things? How old are you if i may ask?

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  7. Ba Mwata! It is just a matter of time before we get you. Ubututu!!! You are the same people who have been childishly saying ‘Ulefikosha kwati fyobe?’ You speak arrogantly about Chiluba’s sense of entitlement when it comes to public money are you one of the tandem of thieves that came with him. And now that he is in trouble you have camped in US. Why don’t come and defend him here and we see your record? That was not his money! It is ours and he should have just used what was given to him. In the US when Obama takes his wife for dinner do you think the tax pay picks up the check? Or when Michelle went to Spain, apart from the security, did the public pay for her trip? A foolish Mwata would think she is entitled to everything!!!

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  8. # 7 Unworried Bachelor,

    Nkisu Katayi’s hyperbole aside, your natural imbalance characterized with vitriolic thrive on hullabaloo than objectivity. Answer me, do Presidents’ expend out of their own pockets for their wardrobes? Is there a cap for what the service can do for their wardrobe and what is that statutory cap if you think there is any?You talk of the USA first lady’s recent trip to Spain. Do you know the cost of her advance party, security detail, lodging, logistics, food besides the executive jet used on the public? What of Bush’s wife and daughters’ safari trip to Africa. How much it costed Americans? I hope you know how to access this information. No doubt you thrive on jealous and some hullabaloo . You lack a sense of reality.

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  9. LT, it will be better for you to be qouting authors like this one than coping and peasting from Times of Zsambia like you always do. The author has spoken sense and for sure he has given us a break from the outbursts of RB, Mulongoti, Shikapwasha, Siliya and their tanderm of thieves. To small carders like Mwata above, this article bad like vomit but to the wise, its like food.

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  10. Mwata for your information, Lech Walesa (pronounced Va-wensa) has gone back to his old job as an electrician at the Gda?sk Shipyard. N And Chiluba is no Wa;lesa or Lula! Chiluba was a thief who stole loads of money from the Zambian government. In one instance he acquired some of the world’s most expensive clothes and shoes from a Swiss tailor, Antonio Basile who traded as Boutique Basile in Geneva. When asked where he acquired all the money (I just love his response) ….. “I come from a very wealthy family!” This lazo who would not even have been allowed to stand for Presidential elections in RB’s new constitution (had PF/UPND not put pressure on RB) which was retaliated by his visitor (Lula) in no certain terms! “

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  11. “ Infact, this man (President Lula) never went to university and yet he learnt a lot of things through life. What this is teaching us is that you can grow big if you are focused. This (Lula) is the only president without a university degree and yet he has built more universities than any other president.” Which universities did Chiluba build?

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  12. MB,

    Learn to debate like a sober and mature person than venting like someone who has just run away from taking Chibuku. No one has pressurized RB over the 1997 George Mpombo’s sponsored degree clause in he fiercesly pushed to be included in the new constitution. The only thing RB has given you in this constitution is the dual citizenship which has gone through. The other one is his opposition to the Mpombo clause for a degree to run for plot one though sponsor has none to his name. I will not be shocked to learn that you don’t even know that actually the same Mpombo fiercely opposed the Dual citizenship RB pushed in the new constitution. Mpombo’s argument was that Dual citizenship would compromise national security and you bought that nonsense.

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  13. Mwata a plunder benefiaciary, I know a couple and they are dead overprotective over their trustee’s. You can’t blame his sycophant ways most of these plunder benefiaciaries wereplucked out of poverty and fast tracked into riches so they feel they owe their loyalty to kawalala’s. Like the bible says dishonest wealth comes to an end and true to the letter a lot of these plunderers are broke. Anyway back to the topic at hand politicians abuse their office, they never steal directly but via expenses, allowances other means . Any leader in a position of power with integrity should amek it a prioirity not to line his pockets

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  14. Ba Mwata has a point: most, if not all, heads of state enjoy tax-free benefits including free clothing, food, travel, etc. That’s just a fact of life. BUT not to take away from the article, all of us, not just public figures, need to be accountable to our employers and not take what is not lawful. Let he who has never stolen anything in life, cast the first stone!

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  15. THE ARTICLE IS A PERFECT REFLECTION ON ZAMBIAN WORK CULTURE.THOUGH THE WRITER WAS TOO HARD ON ONE NAME BUT THE MAJORITY OF ZAMBIANS ARE QUIT. NO WONDER FOREIGN INVESTORS WILL NEVER TRUST US WITH THEIR RESOURCES. WE ALL PLUNDERED OUR ECONOMY EVEN BEFORE CHILUBA CAME TO POWER. FROM 1991 PROBABLY THE ZAMBIAN SOCIETY BECOME AN OPEN SOCIETY AND WHAT USED TO HAPPEN IN THE DARK CORNERS COME OPEN.YES WE ARE PLUNDERS AS ZAMBIANS.WE SHOULD CHANGE.LET US LOVE OUR NEIGH OURS US WE LOVE OURSELVES.OR BETTER STILL “DO INTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD WANT THEM TO DO INTO YOU” THEN AND ONLY THEN WOULD THE PUBLIC RESOURCES BE SAFE.

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  16. #6 Mwata, please show me where i have insulted anyone in my post. It seems to me that your little mind is so clouded and narrowly focused on defending Hefty Jay and his friends. We all know that Presidents by their very nature enjoy lots of freebies and gits from various pipo but in Chiluba’s case even the owner of the Swis boutique he used to buy his extremely short suits and size 2 shoes confessed to recieiving payments in suit cases. Also answer me this question: Why the f*ck has he shyed away up to date from telling us who the f*cking well wishers who gave him the bloody $8Million hehas in the government accounts are?

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  17. The article highlights a very serious problem in Zambia, which has robbed the country of the much needed development as much of the government/ public funds end up in people’s pockets.This explains why roads,schools,hospitals etc are in deplorable conditions.Individuals have wealth which they cannot account for, they live beyond their means. This explains why there are mansions, but no roads,water reticulations and other services. Theft has spread like cancer from top leaders to the lowest common man.

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  18. @ Mwata . Not all presidents leave behind their old wardrobes. Debate soberly. Look at KK, Nyerere, Mandela and Mr. Banda then compare them with your man. You will know that something is just wrong. Where have you heard of any normal male having shoes and suits in their hundreds? Even as you blog don’t just run like a headless chicken. The wise have said, a quite mouth is a symbol of a wise head. You need that.
    @VJ Riggers. It is not good to criticize without offering solutions. If the English is poor in the article, show us where you write your blogs or articles and we the readers can judge. If you don’t have any, then where are you basing your judgment? To LT, This is a good article, keep up the good work.

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  19. STEALING IN ZAMBIA STARTED WITH THE KK’s UNIP and its GOVERNMENT. Immediately, after independence leaders and other influential people awarded themselves with loan (and huge loans) for various economic ventures such as farming and other businesses. These loans, etherto, have never been repaid by UNIP government and political leaders. There was a culture in Zambia to look at any public property, even private companies properties as yours. FYA GRZ-meaning they belong to anyone and anyone can use them at any time. Hence, there was gross misuse of public and company properties which was encouraged institutionally by political correctness. I was born far later than our 1964 independence. But even then I found that fya boma culture very life in my adolescent age where as school kids we would…

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  20. …jump on any GRZ vehicle going our direction or influencing the driver to go our direction. That was ok. We found the FYA GRZ already in existence. In fact politicians and highly placed civil servants were the main culprits. Public property and other resources such as vehicles and gas (petrol) were just like a birthright for them to pilfer for their own private use. But, for what- driving girl friends around, shopping, making trips to their own home villages which were normally a minimum distance of 100km in the same town or to another town. They also used the vehicles to make some extra cash on their way to and fro.

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  21. …This pilfering culture by leaders transcended down to nurse and doctors on drugs and other materials, teacher on teaching materials, office workers on stationery, bankers on cash, farm workers on farm produce and implements, shop assistants on shop merchandise, even loafers/unemployed on street furniture and other things. In fact this culture is now deep-rooted in the way of life in Zambia it needs another revolution to uproot it.

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  22. # 23 Peter. Well said. If you don’t steal from your work place in Zambia you are looked at like you are “backward” by your co-workers. Stealing has become “normal”. This culture must be brought to an end if Zambia has to move forward.It is a shame to see this country be where it is now. We only used to hear about these things from other countries, but now it is on our doors. You can get a passport, NRC within a day if you pay cash to somebody even though you are not Zambian. Those in Govt can not stop it because they are busy stealing as well. Police officers now are fat because of money from wrong dealings. Who is going to help Zambia?

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  23. @ 1Mwata- AM SURE YOU ARE BUSY STEALING FROM WHICH EMBASSY YOU ARE SERVING.Chiluba is my relative but that will not make change my mind about his plunder. The time he was president people like Saviour were living like Kings. Compare former OP chief Kamina and Chungu you will see what we mean.

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  24. Ha ba LT when did you clip this photo of FTJ was he coming from the famous BiGOCA church?in Materosdale.

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  25. I agree with this article. People in Zambia have tend to doing crime in order to enrich themselves.

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  26. I LOVE THAT PICTURE. IT BRINGS BACK THE OLD MEMORIES OF MATERO. THE ARTICLE IS GOOD. AMONG OTHER THINGS IT SPEAKS ABOUT THE IMMORALITY OF LIVING IN ABUNDANCE WHILE YOUR NEIGHBOUR LIVES IN ABJECT POVERTY. HOW CAN ANY SENSIBLE PERSON (UNLESS YOU ARE A LOWLY MWATA) JUSTIFY CHILUBA ENJOYING SO MUCH PRESIDENTIAL PRIVILAGE AND COMFORT(EVEN IF IT IS LEGALLY PROVIDED FOR) WHEN THE MAJORITY DONT HAVE FOOD AND MEDICINES? HOW DO YOU JUSTFY A SYSTEM WHICH PROVIDES FOR SUCH DISPARITY? NONE OF THE OTHER LEADERS HAVE BEEN SO SELFISH. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE CHILUBA EVEN GOES ON TO STEAL FROM US ALL! ‘A man is called selfish, not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s’. MWATA LEARN TO REASON. CHILUBA IS MORE THAN SELFISH. HE IS ALSO A THIEF.

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  27. Chiluba is a thief. The Zambians continue to dress him and give him a Benz plated numbered SP (Second President). This country gives him a house and other goodies that go with a numeration for past President. A thief being well looked after he has stolen your resources is double tragedy. This is more than Agony!!!!

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