By Prince Bill M. Kaping’a Political & Social Analyst
We have taken time to dissect and chew over Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba’s article which was trending on social media last couple of days, entitled – “Stop harassing former presidents.” He spews forth conspiracy theories and draws a myriad of inferences.
In one of the paragraphs, Mwamba offers, “There is a pattern that has emerged where new Presidents engage in trashing the legacy of their predecessors, accuse them of massive acts of corruption, and prosecute them while seeking to consolidate their new power gained.”
Wait a minute……According to Wikipedia, a diplomat is someone who can be sensitive in dealing with others and who can achieve peaceful resolutions or facilitate discussion. A person who doesn’t take sides in a fight but who instead helps others to resolve their differences is an example of someone who is diplomatic.
We therefore find it ludicrous that a seasoned diplomat of Mwamba’s stature elects to spin around issues, as if he’s a party apparatchik, in his feeble attempt to defend past misdeeds, instead of endeavouring to help seek justice as etiquettes of diplomacy dictate, indeed!
If we may take time to school our diplomat who is just arriving from war torn Ethiopia: most of our former African leaders, and indeed some that are still clinging on to power, simply deserve titles as tin-pot dictators. They’ve been on rampage abusing the very power entrusted to them by poor country folk, and anybody who dared challenge them risked being cut to pieces!
From oil rich fields of North to West Africa, despots holed-up in palaces decorated with Persian carpets have been quick to descend upon critics and opponents alike and feed them to the crocodiles. And as you venture farther afield into tourist idyllic jungles of East Africa, you’re likely to encounter leaders who think only them, their families or indeed cronies deserve to be at the helm – those that provoke their ire are constant guests in filth dungeons! In mineral rich central and southern Africa, we’ve had a generation of leaders who’ve recklessly plundered their county’s resources and gotten away with it. Is the ambassador therefore suggesting we should continue on such a trajectory?
No bwana! This is the 21st Century, former leaders are now being called to account for their wanton transgressions, everywhere.
In mineral-rich Angola, former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos’ daughter, Isabel dos Santos who is said to have bilked her country of more than $1 billion through unscrupulous dealings has had her assets frozen. She’s now under probe. Equally, her half-brother, Jose Filomeno dos Santos, was indicted for alleged illegal transfer of $500m from the central Bank to a Swiss Bank account! Jose Eduardo Dos Santos himself only returned home in September 2020 after a stint exile for fear of prosecution. He is yet to have his day in court.
Since he previously served there as High Commissioner, we’ve no doubt the ambassador is aware that in 2018, the High Court of South Africa reinstated corruption charges against Zuma from 2009 relating to a $5bn arms deal from the 1990s. Zuma now faces 16 counts of corruption, racketeering, fraud, and money laundering, accepting a total of 783 illegal payments. As if this is not enough, the Constitutional Court has handed him a 15-month sentence for contempt of court after Zuma defied an earlier court order to return and testify before the Zondo Commission, the very creature he created!
Amb. Mwamba goes on to insinuate that while cooperating partners may cheer us on, and even deploy resources in the so-called fight against corruption, they never do this in their own countries, never arrest their former Presidents or Prime Ministers for perceived crimes done while they held office.
In France, the 66 year old ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to three years in jail, two of them suspended, for corruption. This concerns a case when relating to attempting to bribe a judge in 2014, after he had left office.
And according to ABC online news, the record of Trump officials who have fallen afoul of the law is unparalleled in the history of the United States of America. In all, 14 Trump aides, donors and advisers have been indicted or imprisoned since the days when the first-time candidate promised that he would only hire “the best people.”
What are we saying?
If indeed there’s overwhelming evidence of impropriety on the part of former president Edgar Lungu or indeed any of his ministers or senior government officials, they must be held accountable without further delay to serve as an example to the others!