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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Government Officials Must Be Prohibited From Accepting Gifts

Columns Government Officials Must Be Prohibited From Accepting Gifts

By Prince Bill M. Kaping’a Political/Social Analyst

Easter weekend was ablaze with news of Foreign Affairs Minister Stanley Kakubo visiting Sinoma Cement with a view to “ordering pockets of cement and premix cement,” as he puts it on his Facebook page, whereby some unscrupulous individuals surreptitiously zoomed in on him and took photos of him and offloaded the same on social media.

This immediately elicited a backlash from a number of individuals, for or against:

“Hon. minister; you should not be casual, stop visiting these companies, you can make an order with a phone call, or you could have sent your project manager,” Shadrick Malulu, an expatriate UPND sympathizer based in South Africa weighed in. “You could have refused the gift too.”

A Kitwe based ward councilor, Davies Kasengele had this to say, “You went for a mission which the Chinese were not happy about; and for them to stop you from continuing troubling them, they set a trap of cameras so that after this pressure, they should not be hosting you again.”

“How small was the calendar to fit in a small bag?” wondered Thomas Sipalo, a prominent comedian. “If there were no pics involved, were you still going to explain to the masses what you’ve explained?”

As the minister endured such relentless bashing, there were however some individuals that immediately sprung to his defense.

“Olo wenze na briefcase, ask them ni briefcase yanyoko,”Matomola Likwanya, a senior UPND provincial official wondered.

Hilda Mutanuka further advised the minister as follows; “Sir, stop proving your point. People are still gonna say what suits them; it’s no different from the person throwing stone at a barking dog!”

One may argue that people are entitled to their own opinions in a democracy but it is of course worth considering the serious questions that Democratic Party leader Harry Kalaba who served as Foreign Affairs minister for 4 years raised. He quips, “It’s unprecedented for a Minister of Foreign Affairs to interact with an ambassador outside his office alone. It is beneath his office. And the minister should give a better explanation than the one he has given.”

He goes on to ponder:

  1. How was the Minister buying cement on a holiday?
  2. Why should a company give a calendar to the Minister in mid-April?
  3. Why should the Ambassador meet the Minister when he was doing private errands?

Gears Initiative Zambia Executive Director, McDonald Chipenzi seems to sum it all when he weighs in and advises ministers in the new dawn government to avoid situations that compromise President Hakainde Hichilema’s stance on the fight against corruption.

Of course, Hon. Kakubo strikes us as a decent fellow who can’t even hurt a fry. It’s a pity he found himself in such a situation as there wasn’t anything seemingly untoward about the same. To avoid such situations in future, we should simply enact a law prohibiting lavishing of government officials with gifts!

This same democracy we seem to profess is borrowed from the United States of America, we shall cite typical examples from former US President, Barack Obama’s book – A Promised Land.

On a state visit to Saudi Arabia before his famous Cairo speech, Obama found himself a ‘perfect’ guest of the Saudi monarchy. As he retired to King Abdullah’s complex, he was shocked to find himself in a room adorned with enormous gifts!

He describes one of the gifts as thus, “a necklace half the length of a bicycle chain, encrusted with what appeared to be hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of rubies and diamonds – along with a matching ring and earrings.”

One of his officials explained that others in the delegation had equally found cases with expensive watches waiting for them in the rooms.

Apparently, nobody told the Saudis about their stringent prohibition on gifts. We ought to educate our visitors about such to avoid the Kakubo case, moving forward!

22 COMMENTS

  1. Iwe Prince Bill, stop sugarcoating the story. Kakubo was soliciting a bribe, chapwa. This is the problem we have with these New Doom sympathizers. Umulandu nga wapita pa musula, nobe kupita pa musula. Corruption fight is not for the faint-hearted.

    14
    • This is not a bribe it is Chinese tradition to give a gift. ?t would be ungrateful to refuse. Why are some Zambians so ill informed of other countries traditions yet they expect people visiting to understand Zambian tribal traditions

  2. Short of saying that your Upnd is more corrupt than the corrupt PF you are beating about the bush. If Kakubo was Bemba you’re going to blow the trumpet out of proportion.

    17
  3. Unfortunately the fight against graft has not achieved anything so far: you can’t get your driving licence extended without parting with some cash, the police is back to its original self by demanding money, even getting a vaccine booster costs money now. Zambian civil servants are notoriously CORRUPT and no president will change that!

  4. There has to be repercussions……….

    This type of behaviour is unacceptable in the new GRZ………….

    5
    2
  5. Hakainde will not do or say anything because that guy belongs to barotse team.

    A bemba would have been fired or transferred to another ministry. Hakainde is a an embarrassment to this nation

    18
    1
  6. Well, we are watching and assessing. I’m sure by August 2026 a lot will have happened which will determine whether this regime should stay in power or not

    11
    2
  7. #8 These people never cease to to amaze. He’s behaving like he’s in the 1900s where people didn’t have enough communication.

  8. BEFORE TALKING DIDNT THE SMS WHICH WAS POSTED SAY THE PREMIX WOULD BE DELIVERED ON MONDAY
    LETS LOOK INTO THAT AND WHERE WAS IT DUMPED ???
    THIS MUST BE FOLLOWED !!
    THIS IS NOT OVER YET !!
    AND SHOULNT SINOMA CEMENT BE QUESTIONED AS WELL ?
    WGERE ARE ALL THE REPORTERS ?? WAKE UP !!!

  9. Recently HH gave the Pope a ‘gift’ the Pope in turn gave HH a book as a ‘gift’ in full view of cameras not in the car park….

  10. IT IS CUSTOMARY FOR HEADS OF STATES TO EXCHANGE GIFTS RELATING TO THIER COUNTRY
    NOT ALL AND SUNDRY IN THE GOVERNMENT
    WAKE UP

  11. Chinese they know that Africans we have a spirit of begging and corruption and that meeting was pre arranged no wonder he walked away with a parcel….Kawalala

  12. So let me put it this way…..IF HH WONT FIRE KAKUBO THEN HE IS NOT FIGHTING CORRUPTION,,,,IT MEANS HE, HIMSELF HH IS VERY CORRUPT….period
    Malawians have already started protesting the corrupt Chakwera government

  13. The way HH used to preach about fighting corruption when he was in opposition….and now he is mute…..48 houses story is dead…Forest 7 story is dead…Faith Musonda and all PF Bandits are a field day every day… I told you that Lusambo’s house seizer was just smoke screen….Lusambo is still in his house it hasn’t been seized by the state..

  14. Even the Milingo-DPP story is smelling something terrible. The New Doom has dirty hands in it.

    Watch this space.

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