Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Is State House the new hub for anti-corruption investigations?

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By Misheck Kakonde

The revelation of a cash deal, magnified by the summoning of the minister by the president, casts an unyielding light on a prevailing issue, the deficiency in robust anti-corruption measures and the conspicuous absence of genuine accountability. While it is good to get the part of the information from the offender, President Hakainde Hichilema would have done well to invite Kakubo for coffee at state house after the investigation teams finalize their investigations.

The problem stems from powerful individuals escaping justice due to political influence. Even if the president acts, it might seem more symbolic than a true commitment to upholding the law. Moreover, when inquiries and actions against corrupt individuals are tainted by political sway or undue influence, the sanctity of the entire process is compromised. Although the president’s summoning of the minister might seem like a step towards rectification, it teeters perilously close to a token gesture rather than an earnest commitment to upholding the sanctity of the rule of law.

Real change comes when anti-corruption agencies work independently, empowered to investigate, and prosecute regardless of someone’s status. We must break the culture of impunity that lets the powerful escape consequences, ensuring even top officials face accountability. Surely, why should the president be the one summoning the minister, this highlights a lack of effective anti-corruption body or measures and real accountability.
Solving this demands a strong legal system, transparent governance, and an active society demanding change on how institutions run such as the current Anti- corruption that is full of retrospective watchdogs or post-tenure investigators. Concerning some civil societies, it is wishful thinking to demand their voices, as most of them were silenced with jobs, they cannot speak while eating. Therefore, asking for their voices is like throwing punches in the air.

Only by committing together to uphold the rule of law can we ensure officials serve the people, not their own interests. It is time for a shift towards ethical governance, where trust in our democracy is paramount as compared to allegiance to political parties and individuals, instead of the state and the state institutions.
Furthermore, the permissive atmosphere fostering a culture of impunity surrounding corrupt practices must be dismantled brick by brick. When the elite perceive a cloak of immunity shielding them from the consequences of their malfeasance, it perpetuates an unrelenting cycle of wrongdoing. The resolute prosecution and accountability of even the loftiest echelons of power reverberate as a clarion call that corruption shall find no sanctuary within the corridors of Zambian governance system.

Lastly, investigating and potentially prosecuting both the Chinese company and the minister of foreign affairs Stanley Kakubo’s company is necessary for justice. Moreover, why even summon the minister to state house, if he already gave his position in most newspapers in 2022 where he said “Good day to you all. We have noted a malicious post making rounds on social media….”. That is the position on the sinoma cement scandal by Kakubo.

If found guilty, they must face the consequences of their actions. Fair and impartial investigation and prosecution uphold the principle of justice, irrespective of the affiliations or origins of the involved parties.

The author Misheck Kakonde is a legal scholar, comparative politics specialist email: [email protected]

14 COMMENTS

  1. What do you have to investigate naiwe chiccala Misheck? Your opinion started ok you idyot…
    The case is clear, if Stanley was in Saudi Arabia or North Korea he could have executed already at dawn!!

    • If you want this country to stay united, do not use phrases like ” Tonga god”. You can criticise HH all you want without insulting a whole tribe as this can attract sanctions under the law that criminalises hate speech. We’re, after all, a mere post-colonial African state trying to become a nation. The historical record of who we were before colonisation is not in doubt. The republican constitution may describe Zambia as an indivisible unitary state but those are just words if its people are unwilling to accept one another as equals. States are made and can be unmade.

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    • @ Gunner why have I never seen you hushing up those who call people like Bishop Mpundu a tribalist? This because he is a Bemba criticising a government led by a Tonga? There are anti-Bemba tribal posts all the time on LT and I have never heard you pretend to be a nationalist but when your tribe is on the receiving end you start threatening the whole Zambia with a revolution! What cheap hypocrisy! If you are a Zambian you should defend Zambia from all tribal threats

  2. Praise singers you think PF where thieves wait until everything starts unfolding God is watching and HH goes to fool Zambians that they have done there part and yet they are busy doing dirty deals in the dark and Zambians are suffering

  3. Mr President nip the vic by it’s bud, culprits need to go to jail. So that it becomes a deterrent. Otherwise what will stop the next civil servant from opting to resign if a deal is too good to resist?
    Like the author outlined ” the permissive atmosphere fostering a culture of impunity surrounding corrupt practices must be dismantled brick by brick.” These matters are beginning to border on national security. Mind you, PF, ZANU PF and their Chines allies are working day night to bring instability in this peaceful country for their greedy ends. Look at the disgusting levels of rigging and corruption going DRC and banana republic of Zimbabwe. Their common denominator is the abundant mineral wealth they are cursed with rather than blessed.

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  4. Which law says if a Minister facing corruption allegations resigns, then this Minister obtains immunity against being investigated on the corruption investigations?? The fact that Kabuko has resigned from his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs does not provide Kabuko immunity against being investigated. In the past we had Ministers refusing to resign while under investigation which compromised investigations.

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    • In any case this was a private matter by Stanley kakubo and that Chinese and not a minister. He’s resignation is a moral issue which should be lauded. Indeed nothing stops ACC, DEC or indeed FIC from investigating him and the Chinese for any assault on the law.

  5. Some one brings sanity to politics people are complaining

    Well done Mr president that the way to go
    It’s called being civilized

    • Sanity? Yea make sure the opposition are denied a chance to talk is called sanity. Planning to start a civil war if the PF returned to power ( how the PF can return to power only Upnd know) is sanity.

  6. Regarding the Kakubo case and the airport scandal, it seems evident that the Presidency has shown favoritism by seemingly siding with the accused individuals. The President and their aides appear to be actively working to shield the accused, which raises concerns of preferential treatment based on shared ethnicity. This discussion about ethnicity implies that individuals of a specific group, in this case, the Bembas, should face imprisonment or have their assets seized for their involvement in money-making activities.

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    • The man has no iota of shame…. the airport would be only described as a tragic farce… it’s being killed bit by bit ….1) set the Egyptians free,2) hear it in camera 3) give bail to the accused 4)..…?

  7. Which dumb folks do some of you want to hoodwink? When a crook resigns its not that he is being ethical or thinking of his organisation or country. Its for selfish reasons. He just wants by doing so to save his CV by onwardly stating he resigned instead of being fired. That doesnt mean he didnt break the laws. Police should continue prosecuting him on whatever charges they have.

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