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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Musa Mwenye backs lifestyle audits for senior public officials

Headlines Musa Mwenye backs lifestyle audits for senior public officials

Former Attorney General Musa Mwenye
Former Attorney General Musa Mwenye

Former Solicitor General and Attorney General Musa Mwenye has supported calls for the introduction of lifestyle audits for officials holding senior government position.

Mr. Mwenye who served under the late President Michael Sata said those holding or have held senior positions should not fear undergoing a lifestyle audit.

Some organizations including Transparency International Zambia has demanded that government introduces lifestyle audits for all its senior official in a bid to curtail the accumulation of illicit wealth.

“All of us who have held or hold public office must be subjected to lifestyle audits. We should be asked what wealth we had before we were appointed to these public offices? What did we acquire during our time in public office and how did we acquire it?”

“If we claim we earned the money or acquired the wealth legitimately through our businesses, then we must show the taxes we paid or tax returns we filed. This is because if you sale goods or provide services legitimately, you have to pay taxes and/or file tax returns.”

Mr Mwenye said it is immoral for some public officials to live a lavish lifestyle when they are working for poor people.

“It is immoral for public officials to live lavish lives when they should be serving poor people. It is extremely worrying when a lot of the luxury cars on the roads are driven by those in public office and when public officials are the biggest ‘buyers’ in most night clubs.”

He stressed, “Public service is service, not an avenue to become millionaires.”

Mr Mwenye stated that he spoke against corruption even during the time of late President Sata’s administration.

“Some of us spoke and spoke very loudly internally but we just didn’t come on to Facebook to do it. In fact if you analyze, although mistakes were made under President Michael Sata MHSIP, there are no major financial scandals in those three years we served.”

“It’s because we fought corruption internally. During that period no less than 3 Ministers were prosecuted and fired for corruption and one Minister was actually convicted,” he recounted.

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    • I don’t know why our “learned” colleagues in Zambia can’t see that it is not so clever to keep on wearing a pre-colonial slave master wig in a supposedly independent country!!!!! If you like wigs so much, design something appropriately adapted to us. Those current wigs are certainly not ours.

    • What a styupid way of understanding life.
      – I am not rich, but I have never ever been broke or had never ever borrowed money.
      – I don’t want to be rich, because I like freedom, e.g I even find time to spend on LT.
      – GBM is a stressed miserableness rich-man.
      – HH don’t know how to enjoy his riches, but that God he is now helping out poor communities.
      – Ba Edgar don’t know how to enjoy riches, because he hides his akasaka kandala.
      So iwe Mwenye, you want every minister to live life like me???
      You are jealous?

    • Agreed, we still to tradition which has no significance to us. Like the opening of parliament with police on horse back! Introduce new traditions which we can identify with.

    • WIll never happen. Too many obsctacles to overcome and queit honestly its plain wrong.

      Invasion of privacy.

      Oh you went to Paris last month- where did you get the money from? Zambian and anyone supporting this are dull and I wish your parents smothered you. I wish you not born. You biological mistake

      Stick to Bank accounts audits and end there

      I do have a PhD


      BB 2008,2014,2016

    • Just imagne a lifestyle audit for the likes of Bowman and Stephen Kampyongo …in the case of Bowman he would be founding with questions to answer I mean how does one grow from not owning any house in 2015 to being a property developer with two houses one on the CB and in Lusaka with swimming pool.
      If at all the NDF was genuine these are the proposals that they should have been taking to Parley..

    • All cabinet ministers, MPs and other government officials, must be made to declare their assets at the beginning of their service. And their declaration must be verified. Thereafter, their bank accounts and other assets must be audited after every 4 months. If all of a sudden they show to have acquired assets that they cannot explain, the assets must immediately be forfeited to the State, and then fire them from their position, with possible prison time. And then lastly, a final audit should be carried out at the end of their term in office. Show that you’re serious by starting with Lungu and his ministers. Start auditing them NOW!!!. Most likely you’ll find a lot of assets with them whose source they cannot explain.

  1. Mr. Mwenye,
    You are absolutely correct, unfortunately, our breed of politicians interchanges Public Services with a venue to become millionaires.
    The fish smells from its head.

    • Even LAZY LUNGU would not pass the audit imagine your assets growing from K2.3 million to K23 million in a space of 12 months…I bet you today the man is worth K230 million whilst the country has become poorer.

    • The problem is that Zambians like to complicate things, calling it lifestyle audits just scares off everyone and brings confusion. The majority here will not understand this, and yet this is supposed to be something like the UK Standards and financial interests, which is meant to provide information on any financial or non-financial benefit received by MPs or Senior Civil Servants which might be thought by others to influence their actions in their capacity or roles. Every year, each MP or civil servant including the President should file in what they accumulate in the previous year, this creates visibility. I am not sure this already exists in Zambian Laws, and it’s my interpretation of what Mwenye is proposing. Of course, if ECL fails, that is what we want. This law is common in most…

  2. 30 years later is when they are thinking about such. My Swiss wife always thought most Zambian like to live a fake life. Showing off even when people can see you have nothing or are a thief.one of reasons she fell for me is my hard work and frankness and honesty which is a rare trait in most Zambians

  3. Even if their lifestyles are audited, serving public officials cannot be prosecuted and if they are prosecuted they remain in office while trying to clear their names(e.g. Chitotela).But for the unfortunate ones like Emerine Kabanshi they are fired even before they exculpate themselves. Very unfair style of governance

    • True. Just becoz Emerine is a woman and she can be called all kinds of names. Ba “Yama” is being arrested over and over again for so many thefts but is still in office and enjoying taxpayers money, riding in VX’s and getting a salary and allowances. What has gone wrong in this countries leadership kanshi? What are we teaching our younger generations? That “you can steal and continue being in office” like nothing has happened? Shame on us?

    • Ladies and Gentlemen
      You actually see a style of leadership in President Lungu and his PF?I am shocked because all i see is confusion,no strategy,no direction not even a wrong one,proper chipantepante,the only reason they want 2021 is to avoid answering for their crimes….sad when a slave rules the people suffer,only their pockets are getting fatter,whilst their only reassurance is that they will not default on their loan repayments,taking care of the interests of the people is something they have abdicated,they dont care what the citizens are going through and they spend more on policing the people than they spend on health and education in per capita terms…

  4. Lifestyle audits won’t happen under these P.F Rats, & Roaches!
    They are so used to inflating contacts, & siphoning taxpayers cash, like they made Zambians pay for concrete pillars, & cheap roofing, & called these Tollgates, costing USD 4 Million a pop, & Jona refuses to sack those responsible as these scams start from under the drunken ones bedroom in Plot one.

    • One big thief RB slipped away even though they audited him and his Mpundu Trust Foundation…he claimed he obtained a loan from a Nigerian Bank. If you have a crooked Bank you can easily get away with it even close relations use I doubt they would pin you down.

  5. Lifestyle audits and important and a must to turn around the culture of corruption in our country. Any genuine corrupt free individual in Zambia would support such. We have seen this going on forever and everyone start thinking the only way to fast track riches and wealth is by corrupt means and erodes genuine businesses. At the end of the day criminals and their descendants end up living better than those who refused to refused to participate. Our society ends up promoting such with impunity.
    This status would change only if ill earned wealth is confiscated from these criminals. I would support that everyone business has a traceable income stream. If one can’t account for their income/wealth chances are that it was ill gotten and should be forfeited to the governments for social…

    • The problem with us Zambians is that we always want to fix the roof of the house when its the foundation that needs urgent attention….I mean you can have lifestyle audits but no minister would ever be questioned as evidenced by the FIC Report where prominent names featured no one was questioned. Bowman was accused of murder and the police were afraid to question him…Brian Mushimba got away with drink-driving without being breathalyzed…we need to sort out our governance issues the way IG, DEC and ACC Directors are appointed has to change…we need to adopt RSA model of governance.

  6. This status would change only if ill earned wealth is confiscated from these criminals. I would support that everyone business has a traceable income stream. If one can’t account for their income/wealth chances are that it was ill gotten and should be forfeited to the governments for social activities (health, schools, etc.) If we once get a genuine government in future, I would go that route and grab back what has been stolen from the people period. If you can’t account for that wealth chances are you stole one way or the other and you don’t deserve to have it going forward.

    • But how much money would you need for a fair trial and appeals for ALL these corrupt people? Where would you get it….LOANS????

  7. Most PF cadres will just run away on their own after losing elections. Even nonentities like a Lusaka youth chairman are now displaying mansions with kudus, lechwes, impalas and other animals as pets. Even chaps like Presidential spokespersons receive gifts of prime land in foreign countries. But we also need to audit lawyers because most of them can lose whole limbs if subjected to Sharia. Sata killed an elephant in 2011 eleven, the carcass is almost finished because there’s a stampede in PF to get bigger chunks. Edgar should consider declaring an amnesty now while he has chance otherwise most of the people he’s working will be in prison before his immunity is even lifted. It’s for this reason that the PF isn’t ready to handover power to the ruthless UPND criminals, that can spell…

    • Ayatollah
      What really amazes me is that people like Kampyongo have the guts to arrest innocent people when their names are being mentioned everywhere a scandal appears from 42 by 42 etc,are they so dull that they cant even feel sorry for themselves?In bemba ati “..muleyumfwila ko noluse…”

  8. I think Mr Mwenye is fully aware of the need for a balancing act between, invasion of privacy (human rights), democratic duty to create laws to protect ALL citizens including those in public office so that they are free to perform their duties unstiffled by unfair and unlawful judgements passed by disgruntled citizens.

    The idea you put forward hits the brakes on privacy and the right to it. Why not set that requirement for ALL citizens, people in business. Are we assuming everyone else IS paying their taxes correctly?

    Mr Mwenye is fully aware that politicians are audited before taking office. They must declare their business interests and anything that might conflict their duty is addressed before taking office. No the answer to Criminal misconduct is better left to the…

    • ……the answer to Criminal, Corruption misconduct in office, is better left to the right bodies. ACC and the Judiciary in its many guises.

      Monied people are entitled their victories and celebration of its abundance. I agree with Mr Mwenye on his take on the Morality slant in the argument. As a Christian I believe vapid displays of wealth caters to insecurities in the person and misses the central message in Christ’s teaching. If we are a Christian Nation then we expect our Ministers to ‘try’ very hard to be humble in their presentation to the poor citizens they are Christ given to rule. It’s personal. It’s across all the political divide not only PF.

    • To some extent you’re right. In Kaunda time we were getting detained for buying a colour tv from Rhodesia or Mazoe concentrated soft drink from Malawi. We were being asked how could afford

  9. Why not focus more on putting in place strong controls and systems that prevent corruption and theft rather than continuing with the weak status quo and only trying to catch the thieves and corrupt after they deposit the stolen money or buy something with it.

  10. Under Unip we had a leadership code that was quickly thrown out when MMD assumed power of course we all smelt a rat but we kept silent in the euphoria of removing KK…in Rwanda it is the duty of ever senior public officer and any elected official holding public office to make an asset and wealth declaration annually directly to the Investigator General, this declaration is online and any irregularity or suspicious holdings attract arrest and not to ‘wait for evidence because I lost one friend I don’t want to lose another’

    • And we celebrated when Kafupi abolished the system of monitoring people’s wealth. It’s not just government officials, everyone must explain how they built two story houses. Only a thief can fear this audit.

  11. Good point, but hot air in Zambia. Who is going to champion this. Is the life style audit going to see daylight – Kaya.

  12. Musa Mwenye raises an issue of governance, transparency and accountability for people to reflect on.
    The first two comments above, in reaction, are on the wig he is wearing in the picture. How is that relevant to the story? There are numerous other examples where some bloggers specialize in diverting other serious minded people from the real issues and struggles by ‘slotting in’ irrelevancies. Is it a wonder that we don’t usually look at matters objectively and reach some consensus?

  13. Most countries, including the USA do audits on people who control investment accounts. Many have been caught enriching themselves at the expense of investors. They don’t have to be mandatory but conspicuous consumption and spending always triggers FBI or CIA audits to protect the public. Audits are very simple when you live within your means – it is not complicated at all to figure out disposable income for public officials whose salaries are in government records. Just do it.

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