There is no political will to fight corruption in this country.
For a start we may have to rewrite the meaning of corruption. Ordinarily it has been described as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. We have since come to learn that this is not the case. Using Government official information for private or political purposes is perfectly in order.
More significantly Contracts are awarded or cancelled willy-nilly depending on the relationship between the contractor and those who hold political power. Tenderprenuers have become a new breed of wealthy businessmen. They are awarded contracts in fields they have little or no experience.
It is alright for senior politicians to use their power and influence to obtain payment from Government even when their companies are not due to payment. It is not corruption when the Auditor General raises a query and the Anti Corruption Commission does not investigate let alone prosecute such abuse of power.
It only becomes corruption if a small time low level officer is caught receiving money to offer a service such as a school place to a desperate parent enrolling a child in Grade one.
In all this the Anti Corruption Commission maintains a studious silence even when scandalous oil deals are uncovered or when indeed fertilizer scams are laid bare. If anything those responsible for plundering huge sums of money from sequestrated properties cannot be investigated because of their connections.
Such is our corruption campaign.
The Bible says: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
Our Anti Corruption Commission cannot be trusted in little things, there is no reason or basis therefore for Zambians to trust them in bigger thing.
Hundreds of motorists will today pay bribes at road blocks, to avoid the inconvenience of being shunted into roadside alleys to wait for hours as the Traffic Police extort expiation for minor traffic infringements.
Traffic officers have perfected this into a special collection art and undoubtedly ACC officers are fully aware of the scam which is practiced in broad daylight and with such nauseating impunity.
The ACC cannot claim ignorance because hundreds of articles, radio and television programmes have been broadcast about it and nothing has happened, the vice is only growing stronger by the day.
While we agree with the lofty ambitions of ACC Director General, Rosewin Wandi who says that corruption is the greatest enemy of development in Zambia, we note that corruption has continued to threaten Zambia’s attractiveness to trade, tourism and investment.
Therefore the equally lofty strategic plan launched yesterday has little meaning in a society where there is very little political will to fight the vice especially high level graft and that practices by other middle level Government agencies.
Corruption will not be stopped by strategic plans or indeed additional legislation. On the contrary corruption will only be stopped when there are serious and very visible efforts at clamping down on corruption within the top leadership.