Selective prosecutions

For the first time in the history of this country the politically controlled and moribund Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) intends to prosecute offences arising out of an election petition.

We know why.

The prosecution of Dora Siliya is not about fighting corruption, it is about  stopping her from contesting the seat she lost in  an equally politically inspired by election, one of the 66 that the Patriotic Front has corruptly instigated through election petitions.

We have said so and will say it over and over again, that the 66 PF petitions leading to by election are a very corrupt abuse of authority. The Party is abusing its advantage of incumbency to change the composition of Parliament. This is wrong and a gross abuse of public resources.

Instead of assigning officers to investigate the multibillion oil procurement corruption scam, officers from Lusaka will now be sent to Petauke to investigate Dora Siliya for the sole purpose of ensuring that she does not stand in the by-election which she would have easily won.

Sadly this is just one example of political prosecution by the ACC, in the ever growing litany of abuses of authority which this Government will have to account for at an appropriate time.

It is incredible that, even with clear evidence staring them in the face the ACC will not investigate the oil procurement scam and yet it is the ordinary Zambian who is being made to subsidize corruption by those who deliberately manipulated a tender process in order to take advantage and benefit from the suffering of the masses.

There is absolutely no reason why we paid US$2.11cents for a liter of oil that should have cost $1.45 cents at the pump. At source the fuel costs about 70cents a litre.

We are now being made to understand that documents relating to the Trafigura deal are being changed. Fortunately the truth cannot be changed. It is our hope that once the situation in the Judiciary is rectified and professional leadership installed at the ACC, this matter will be fully investigated and those responsible will be prosecuted.

We know that it is pointless seeking judicial review over such matters. Former Minister of Transport William Harrington has salutary experience of his petition against abuse of authority in the Zambia Wild Life Authority (ZAWA) rejected for no apparent reason.

Even the Judges in our courts are now wary about matters touching on those with powerful friends. They can obtain K18billion from a public authority and even manage to punish judges who rule against them. This is the nature of our rule of law or lack of it today.

The oil plunder is inexcusable because it has far reaching effects on the economy and the people of Zambia. Apart from making transport more expensive it also impacts on making the cost of doing business in Zambia more expensive.

It is inexcusable that the ACC could be standing by as poor Zambians are being made to pay for  expensive oil because some individuals have benefitted from a contract in which public funds have been abused.

We are determined to get to the bottom of it.

Categorized | Editorial

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