The circus at the Anti Corruption Commission Offices where our veritable Minister of Justice, State Counsel and Secretary General of the ruling Patriotic Front Party Wynter Kabimba was supposed to attend an interview concerning allegation of corruption leveled against him was a disaster.
The graphic scenario captured on television was a shock to the senses, defying description.The hired crowd of thugs was obviously organised by Wynter to accord him an unruly escort.For what reason? we ask.
If the intention was to intimidate the staff, the effect was most certainly the opposite because anybody witnessing the fracas confirmed that the Police are selective and will allow confusion led by Government representatives.
Last time opposition leader HH went to Police Headquarters with cadres he was tear gassed in a stampede. With Wynter there was no sign of Police.
It is not often that we agree with Mr. Sata, but we agree with the sentiments he expressed when launching the Anti Corruption week recently that corruption undermines the rule of law, reduces investor confidence and frustrates developmental programmes.
We agree with him, namely that corruption retards social, political and economic development of a country by diverting the scarce national resources from the intended areas of investment into resource misallocation.
Corruption he rightly noted raises levels of poverty, promotes social injustice, and distorts facts and figures associated with governments’ expenditure thereby leading to poor service delivery both in public and private sector.
We however disagreed that his government was fully responsive to the real time issues of corruption. Government has cast a blind eye to the challenge. A few individuals have been allowed to rob the country of hard earned resources.
Neither do we agree with his assertion that the campaign has no sacred cows. There are sacred cows, those that the Anti Corruption Commission are frightened to investigate.
It was therefore unfair for the ACC to parade President Sata on Television to address a very cynical public, informed by the various issues of corruption and abuse of office that are too current to be forgotten.
The public still remember the letters written to the Commission and to State House by Lusaka businessman Brebner Changala. Those issues allege large scale corruption and abuse of office which will not go away. Their task was to advise the President to take the appropriate measures to institute a Tribunal to investigate and establish if constitutional authority had been abused to gain advantage.
It is not good enough to parade the head of state on radio and Television while being fully aware that issues were simmering on the sidelines. The truth is that those issues will not go away, they may take long to resolve but they will most certainly not go away.
The sooner the ACC accepts this reality the better, for only the truth will set them free from the perception that they are compromised and will not investigate and prosecute high level corruption.