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Alba Iulia
Monday, April 6, 2020

Emerging State Capture in Zambia

Headlines Emerging State Capture in Zambia

The Zambia Youths in the Fight Against Corruption wishes to bring to the attention of the Zambian public the reality of emerging State Capture in Zambia which if not checked, would lead to the collapse of vital or important institutions in the country.

Firstly, State Capture is a broad concept which refers to institutions of government, usually, such as the Judicial sectorial institutions, security wings, Civil Service in important government departments and in extremely rare cases defence sectors’ failure to uphold institutional integrity or integrity of institution, thereby failing to operate independently and within the ambience of the law by which such institutions were
created and defying the purpose for which they were composed.

This gradual decay of institutional values often takes place at two stages, individual and corporate in
terms of key officers that dedicate towards the advancement of an agenda of a particular entity which could
either be state actors or non – state actors or a combination of both who engage in a straggle to tilt political
or economic power in a particular direction, to the benefit of a defined elite sector of society.
The Zambia Youths in the Fight Against Corruption has made with keen interest careful audit of some
institutional conducts that if not checked are of the potency to make such institutions to slide or fall victim
to State Capture.

For instance, the recent engagement between the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the
Judicial Complaints Authority (JCA), in which a position was held to the effect that the Constitutional
Court in regards to the Presidential Petition Case by the United Party for National Development didn’t
exhaust the 14 days as prescribed in the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia in hearing the matter. The
Judicial Complaints Authority is a body created by the Judicial Complaints Authority Act to deal strictly
with allegations of professional impropriety against judicial officers, it’s not in any sense an appellate court
authority of any kind by law and existence. Therefore, the engagement and the subsequent position by the
Judicial Complaints Authority, although this engagement was of no legal consequence, however, was ultravires
the law, meaning was beyond its legal mandate in terms of the purpose for which it was created and
with due regards to the fact that the JCA made itself available to a process of reviewing salient elements in
a matter which was heard by a court of rightful and one exercising final jurisdiction.

Another classical example is the conduct by the Financial Intelligence Center (FIC), which made
engagement with the public in respect to its captured intelligence information defying the law by which it
was created and within which it ought to operate, the Financial Intelligence Center Act 2013 as Amended
in 2016, thereby reducing itself to operating like a pressure group or whistle blower, contrary to the scope
of its legal mandate.

Finally, if such matters are not kept in check can lead to the gradual collapse of institutions, the general
degree of failure to observe the law and the net effect being what is referred to as a failed state because
state governance is firmly encored on constitutionalism, independence and power equilibrium of
governance institutions.

Maurice Malambo
Executive Director
Zambia Youths Association In The Fight Against Corruption

[Read 232 times, 1 reads today]


  1. As soon as I saw that this organization is fighting for Upnd, I lost interest. Creating sensationals will not gain anything for Upnd.

  2. What are these baby NGOs mushrooming everywhere for. Boys and girls go and get primary school teacher education and get real jobs.

  3. These observations are interesting. However, these observations do not amount to the so called “state capture”. They are isolated cases but do not point one source of manipulation, interference, intervention, influence or derailment. The concept of state capture was coined by South African social commentators to suit their own particular context. In its original form, state capture referred to the exercise of too much influence on government by business for personal gain as one business family allegedly did on the presidency in that country. It can simply be qualified as conduct amounting to self aggrandizement by government officials contrary to spirit of service before self befitting of government officials. Take time to address concerns to ACC, ZP or any relevant public entity for…

    • The author of the article has obviously done no reading or coursework on the issue (state capture) he is talking about. Neither have you Dr Makasa Kasonde by arguing that the term “state capture” originated from South Africa. For those who are serious see this book: GLOBAL CRISIS, GLOBAL SOLUTIONS edited by Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg teaching at Copenhagen Business School. There’s an article in chapter 6 of the book titled GOVERNANCE AND CORRUPTION written by Susan Rose-Ackerman which explains the concept of state capture very well. The book was published by Cambridge University Press in 2004. Sunday Chanda of the PF doesn’t know either given what he wrote not too long ago about the UPND on state capture.

  4. In its original form, state capture referred to the exercise of too much influence on government by business for personal gain as one business family allegedly did on the presidency in South Africa. It can simply be qualified as conduct amounting to self aggrandizement by government officials contrary to spirit of service before self befitting of government officials. Take time to address concerns to ACC, ZP or any relevant public entity for redress. State capture is tautological. It is an aberration of the concept of occupation of a given country by a foreign power. Examples of foreign occupation include colonization of Africa by European powers, military conquest and conquest by Germany of certain European countries including France, Belgium, Netherlands, etc.

    • Citing Ivy League professors is a good thing to do but that cannot stop the debate around corruption. Closer to home, international conferences on corruption have been organized by CODESRIA and OSSREA. In Zambia, Leadership Code, OP, ACC and SITET were established under UNIP to fight corruption. The Chiluba regime launched a crusade against corruption that targeted certain UNIP officials. The Mwanawasa regime intensified the crusade targeting officials from the Chiluba regime. Corruption can be politically and administratively prevented and/or controlled, as other countries of South East Asia, Euro Zone and North America have demonstrated. How do you expect industry to succeed without a coherent industrial policy and vice versa? Second, Government procurement provides the necessary cash…

    • Government procurement provides the necessary cash flow that supports Industrial production and Job creation. Between three potential suppliers, then government must reach a decision that includes political interests, such as patriotism, Pan Africanism, political allies, diversification, inclusion, etc. One tested solution to political corruption is change of government, notably through electing alternative political parties into office. This is exactly what Zambia has done.

  5. Don’t worry Mr. Youth group, Lungu has dancing super powers. One airport dance equals a percent growth to GDP.

  6. Mr Malambo state captured has nothing to do with an institution acting outside of the law. It has do with an institution failing to carry out it’s mandated because it has been rendered ineffective because of powerful political, economic or moral influences. You definition is right but your examples are wrong


  8. Makasa Kasonde: The term was not coined by Susan Rose-Ackerman in fact. It has nothing to do with capture as understood by the military. It refers to a situation where private interests influence decision-making of state organs for the benefit of a few selected individuals as what happened after collapse of the Soviet Union in Russia. Th term was coined for the first time in social science literature to describe the post-Soviet Union Russian situation as Russia was trying to transform from a communist to a market economy.

  9. How can we engage our ZAMBIA SECRET SERVICE, ALL SECURITY WINGS and Zambians in general to STAND-UP and protect our Country from these Internal and External Forces eating us?
    This is not for Edgar alone to fight. The attacking force has already sorted out our Presidency and is destroying us top-down.
    PLEASE FELLOW ZAMBIANS arise and fight NOW.
    Our Intelligence Teams know the source and how to beat this animal unless they are also compromised already.
    WE the Zambian must re-organise and FIGHT.

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