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Friday, November 12, 2021

Fight Against Ccorruption – Victimhood, & Distortions

Columns Fight Against Ccorruption – Victimhood, & Distortions

By Chimwemwe Mwanza

The forest was shrinking but the trees kept voting for the axe, for the axe was so clever and convinced the trees that because its handle was wood, he was one of them.

This allegory so often repeated to illustrate deceit, surmises the former government’s ruinous path. For every corrupt act and corporate coffers raided, it crafted a deceitful narrative to justify its motives, however nefarious. Think of its reasoning for placing Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) into liquidation as an example, Zambians were conned into believing that the government was acting in their best interest.

This is why it’s disingenuous for the PF leadership and its rank and file to now projecting the fight against corruption as political persecution or a tribal witch-hunt. For the record, the tribal card and fear-mongering battled for traction in the build-up to the recent Presidential elections. It’s likely to fail as a defence once the state begins to ramp up its prosecution of alleged corrupt rogues. And the argument that PF is no longer in power is not a reason to indemnify or absorb its leadership from accountability from alleged wrongs.

This lame argument only lends credence to the bankruptcy of morality in our body politic. Who can forget this statement? Umulandu ta ubola. Is it not former President Edgar Lungu that issued this warning to Hakainde Hichilema (HH) on the eve of the elections – threatening to lock up the then opposition leader for corrupt acts allegedly committed when HH served as a transaction advisor to the Zambia Privatisation Agency during the early 90’s?

Hijacking the fight against corruption

Perhaps, let’s pause here for reflection and context. Why is there a repeated media emphasis and reminder of PF’s alleged corrupt reign? Simple, the clamor and stakeholder expectation for the state to move swiftly against alleged perpetrators of corruption is fueling anxiety.

It’s also not helping that the President has tacitly assumed the role of CEO of the Anti Corruption Commission. In fairness, he can’t be a player and a referee in a match in which he has declared a personal interest otherwise we risk creating a perception that his main objective is to fix political opponents using his office. If in doubt, look at how rogues have bn quick to expose this anomaly – a development that now threatens the credibility of what is meant to be a noble fight.

It’s enough that the President has pronounced on his commitment to fight graft precisely the reason that he and party apparatchiks like Cornelius Mweetwa should back-off and leave this matter in the hands of the relevant line cabinet minister. Mweetwa in his role as party spokesperson has no business providing communication updates on the fight against corruption. A case in point, it’s Mweetwa who a few weeks ago raised the political temperature promising the nation that arrests resulting from the fight against corruption were imminent – mpaka lelo, people are anxiously waiting.

And by the way, aren’t both Mweetwa and the Presidency encroaching in the responsibilities of the Justice Minister? Need they be reminded that the fight against corruption is not a UPND vs PF battle but a matter between the state against rogues. And Zambians not the UPND should be the biggest stakeholder in this battle. What the UPND government has on its sleeve and is not effectively utilising is the goodwill and support from well-meaning Zambians emanating from the emphatic mandate it received from the electorate on the 12th of August.

A glimpse into a den of corruption

Voters have not forgotten that during PF rule, state pension fund manager, the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) morphed to become a piggy bank for cadrepreneurs. How the state ended up buying a financially distressed Chinese ceramic manufacturing company for a hugely inflated price or the quarter billion Kwacha it splashed on a loss-making hotel chain boggles the mind. And the Gulf stream jet, did the Presidency really need this asset? The Maize gate, inflated road construction tenders and the 48 unclaimed houses are just the tip of an iceberg.

Forget the K760m spent on procuring 42 fire trucks, did we really need these trucks in the first place? Like an axe confessing its love for trees in the forest, former Local Government and Infrastructure Minister Vincent Mwale put up a spirited justification regarding the need for these trucks including the colossal spend. With a straight face, he told parliament that the K18.5m spent per vehicle was worth every penny given the sophistication and build of the trucks. Really sir?

These are just but a few of many scandals, questions, and concerns that the electorate want answered by role players. Surely, these can be answered in a court of law without undue interreference from both the Presidency and the governing party.

About the author: He is an avid reader of political history and philosophy. The only thing he supports is Kabwe Warriors and Liverpool. For feedback, contact: [email protected]

7 COMMENTS

  1. The fight must be carried out quietly and effectively without playing to gallery. How nice it would be to hear that Hon X has started appearing in court instead of endless and ineffectual pronouncements.

  2. Thieves are bad! The national thieves were not sponsored by any tribe for the stealing agenda and they therefore don’t and didn’t steal on behalf of a particular tribe but for their personal greediness and should be arrested regardless of their tribe. As for those who served in PF government under ECL there were several reasons why majority from some particular regions of zambia partipated rampantly in stealing public resources and abusing their offices without fear. Lungu has openly testified the mistakes made and somehow complained about the dishonesties of some his surbordinates which angered zambians and making them voted out if 100 thieves are identified and happen to come from the same region or tribe please arrest them for they are thieves. only an ***** and cardiac…

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  3. “..It’s enough that the President has pronounced on his commitment to fight graft precisely the reason that he and party apparatchiks like Cornelius Mweetwa should back-off and leave this matter in the hands of the relevant line cabinet minister. Mweetwa in his role as party spokesperson has no business providing communication updates…..”

    Wrong……..

    Everyone should be involved and should be shouting and singing the corruption fight……..everyone.

    From civil servants , to mangers to MPs , lert every one be involved in this corruption scurge ……….

    It should not be a secreate word or effort…….

    In fact the whole country must be actively involved and participate in fighting corruption.

  4. Fair enough Chimwemwe. Your advice is given in good faith and I applaud you. If Mr Kaoma who is another contributor to our reading on LT is listening, Sir, this is how articles should be written. Mr Kaoma should not be engaging in pitiful naivety. Thumbs up Chimwemwe Mwanza.

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  5. Can any normal thinking person doubt the good intentions of ECL of placing Konkola Copper Mine under liquidation? The mine was not giving back to Zambians as the then foreign owned mine was claiming that it was making losses. The management themselves reported that they were making interminable losses instead of profits, and hence their threat to lay down the work force. Government could not fold hands and see its citizens being subjected to acute suffering by foreigners. You started well in your write up, but you have lost it all…

  6. #4  Sansanya Bijanga 
    November 12, 2021 At 9:31 am

    “Fair enough Chimwemwe. Your advice is given in good faith and I applaud you. If Mr Kaoma who is another contributor to our reading on LT is listening, Sir, this is how articles should be written. Mr Kaoma should not be engaging in pitiful naivety. Thumbs up Chimwemwe Mwanza…”

    Kaoma is a bitter tribal supremacist who is in mortal shock that a tonga is ruling over bembas………..

  7. Rubbish! Pf have a right to cry because they bitten. The government should not waste time like it is doing by first prosecuting cases in public before going to court. They should move fast while allowing pf to cry. Zambians where told about tribalism and upnd went and won Abit voted by pf strongholds. As a democratic I believe pf is genuine in their cry. It is pain to lose and it is painful to be prosecuted. So let them cry and let the governing people do their job. Stupidity is when we expected pf to keep quiet while they are nailed to cross. So ba mwanza just shut up.

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