The Government must deal with leakages seriously. These are both intellectual and physical leakages.
Intellectual leakages include premature leakages of information on time sensitive projects which the Government is working on and physical leakages include losses of property and indeed literal leakages such as the ones being suffered by Indeni Refinery through corrosion of equipment.
Both leakages are the result of integrity deficiencies among officers charged with the duty and responsibility of safeguarding national interest.
A typical example is the leakage of information regarding the alleged handover of the Kasumbalesa border post customs facility.
The information was leaked, infuriating many sectors including the clearance organization which has now decided to take the Government to court for reverting the concession to an Israeli company after its cancellation by late President Michael Sata who had cancelled it on account of irregularities in the award.
As at yesterday, the agents were preparing to go to court to do battle with the Government with a certain and very clear impression that former President Rupiah Banda had influenced President Edgar Lungu to reinstate the same.
This was the real intention of the leak. As it turns out no such thing has happened.
Apparently a position status paper was being prepared at the Ministry of Finance which paper has now been leaked for the purposes of creating political furore.
In the case of Indeni, the leakage and corrosion to plant and equipment was the result of feeding the plant with wrong feedstock high in acidic content.
The contract for this stock was signed in 2012 and has just been delivered. What is puzzling, however, is that the stock was offloaded at Dar-es-Salaam and pumped, thousands of kilometers to Indeni in Ndola, when it did not meet the specifications of the plant.
How on earth was the ship allowed to discharge the cargo when we have surveillance officials from Tazama and other agencies who should examine it and indeed pass it for discharge? And once it arrived in Ndola why was it allowed into the system when the results were obvious?
Now the country must suffer additional expenses for stop-gap supplies as the refinery splutters and stutters to clear the feedstock, since it has already comingled with other stock.
It is our hope that the other ships on the high seas will be scrutinized to prevent recurrence.
Meanwhile, we expect that all the sensitive organs of Government undertake a rigorous examination of their staff to ensure that unsuitable characters who are unfit for these jobs are removed because these leakages are expensive and a danger to the country.