ZAMBIA risks being plunged into turmoil if the culture and propensity of stealing State secrets and leaking classified Government documents by some unpatriotic Zambians is not stopped immediately, prominent Lusaka lawyer Earnest Mwansa has warned.
Mr Mwansa said he was deeply concerned with the continued wanton stealing and leaking of classified Government documents with the latest being President Edgar Lungu’s speech to the 5th session of the 11th National Assembly which was leaked to the Post Newspaper and published before it could be delivered to Parliament.
He said there was a danger that individuals who hated the current leadership could easily leak and cause to be published information that could easily put the security of the country at risk and appealed to the State to immediately deal with the scourge.
Mr Mwansa, who was the spokes personTechnical Committee on the enactment of the new Constitution, has called for thorough and comprehensive investigations into the continued leakages of classified Government documents so that the perpetrators could face the wrath of the law.
He told the Daily Nation yesterday that it did not matter who was President at any particular time but that Zambians should cultivate the culture of protecting the integrity of their governance system and the country instead of scheming to plunge the country into turmoil because of selfish political ends.
Mr Mwansa said it was criminal to leak or cause publication of information that was yet to be officially made public by Government and hoped that the investigations that have been launched would result into the arrest and prosecution of the culprits.
He said Zambia was for all and not for a particular group of people that hated the current leadership governing the country and that it was important for citizens to condemn any acts that had the potential of making the country ungovernable.
Mr Mwansa said it was saddening that President Lungu’s speech to the opening of the National Assembly was published before the Head of State could deliver it to Parliament.
“There is need for love in this country and what we are witnessing is more than just hatred. My greatest worry is about the Government officers who are stealing State secrets and leaking classified documents to the public.
“At the rate classified Government documents are being leaked, there is a real danger that Zambia could easily become ungovernable if the bad culture is not going to be curbed immediately.
“There is a danger that soon the country may see the leaking of classified documents that could threaten national security and my hope is that the investigations currently taking place will result into the arrest and prosecution of the culprits,” Mr Mwansa said.
Mr Mwansa said he was worried that State investigators had often exhibited inertia in investigating and bringing to book known individuals who had continued stealing and leaking classified Government documents. adding that from the time the leakages started a few years ago, no one had been prosecuted and that investigations into the matter often did not go beyond cautioning certain individuals.
Mr Mwansa advised the media to avoid the temptation to publish information just because it was in their possession, warning that such an attitude could easily cause despondency in the country.
“Zambia is for us all and even if one did not like the President, they should be patriotic enough to protect the integrity of the country. You cannot adamantly cause the publication of information just because it is in your possession.”