I commend and congratulate all Zambians for celebrating the 51st Independence occasion. You truly deserve it and should be happy with yourselves, without being tempted to take irrelevant considerations into account!
My last article received quite a number of comments. All but one was in agreement. The one that disagreed focused more on professionalism by investigators. This, was in reference to the fact that I raised issue with the manner in which the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has been working. The gist of the submission by my brother and not sister, whose name I have a duty to withhold is that investigators would like to be professional but are hindered by political interference. To the credit of my brother, he talked of certain investigations that he was part of and the undercurrents therein that demonstrated political interference. I still do not understand though, what this political interference is!
My take is that I feel so relieved because without necessarily admitting, my brother confirmed that in actual fact, some of the cases that investigators take on are not worth the assignment. Simply put, they are bad cases and by coincidence, that is my case against the ACC. If professionalism was to take center stage and not jaundiced opinions, the Anti Corruption Commission, (ACC) would be a true watch dog against corruption which stands its ground as provided by law. We know what happened a few times the ACC summoned Ministers. The ACC must be allowed to do its work but as President Lungu has noted in his Independence message to the nation, there should be neither sacred cows nor sacrificial lamb. I also agree with President Lungu that a Smart Zambia is only possible if we all embrace change. In fact, in order for my brother to appreciate my concerns last week, President Lungu has put it clearly when he says “ I am gravely concerned with the declining spirit of patriotism among some of our citizens. To achieve our aspirations of creating a Smart Zambia, we need to put the common good before personal interests” He further observes that “ it is an obligation for all of us to be patriotic to our country by demonstrating unflinching loyalty, support and love for our motherland”. I concur.
In case there is doubt, I invite my brother and many others to look at the dicta by Chief Justice Mathew Ngulube, as he then was in the landmark case of Mulundika and 7 others Vs Attorney General. He expressed very strong views on the need to have laws and by implication, practices that are supportive of a democracy, in this era which frowned upon uncivilized practices. Another case of great import is the Captain Solo coup case where the Court pronounced itself on the infamous superior orders. It is illegal for a superior to give instructions or orders that are not supported by law.
I therefore maintain my stance that the ACC is our institution which can never be owned by any person or group. It is ours. When I call for professionalism among investigators, I am calling for excellence which is supported by law. If investigators or prosecutors are deficient in any way, then in all fairness, relevant officers of government must take greater interest. As amplification, in other jurisdictions, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is known as Public Protector, which is why the office of the DPP cannot be influenced by anybody. It is also not expected that anybody with excess baggage should occupy that office as it is critical for a Smart Zambia.
Then there is this misplaced and unfortunate argument that ‘if I do not obey some orders, I risk my job and my family will then suffer’ (sic). (Of course you must obey superior orders – but only orders that are legal!) This argument as advanced by my brother and others is most unfortunate, selfish and highly unpatriotic. How can you choose to harass another family man because your family must be provided for? What kind of hypocrisy and chicanery is this, which regrettably, has no foundation in either law or common sense? It is for this reason why many times, I have campaigned for the RULE OF LAW as opposed to the RULE of MEN. The rule of men, which is what invariably leads to persecution and therefore the breakdown of the RULE OF LAW is unacceptable as it tends to be repugnant to natural justice. Irrespective of who is involved in promoting the rule of men, it simply has no space in a modern society. It is borrowed from the now unsuitable strategies of Niccolo Machiavelli, which appeared in the book the Prince, authored in the 16th century – more than four thousand years ago! How can a smart Zambia allow any of its institutions to be using archaic practices that promote injustices? This is one the dangers of “cut and paste” or the destructive “mwembeshi”.
The other issue my brother raised among many others is that the fact that somebody is prominent in society can and should if necessary, be visited by the law. This was in the context of the comic prosecution of former President Rupiah Banda and the terribly embarrassing and tragic prosecution of former President Dr. Fredrick J.T Chiluba.
I cannot disagree with the fact that nobody is above the law. I have been very consistent on this on radio, television and in my writings. I therefore agree with my brother that we cannot have two laws – one for one category and another for the other category. The issue will all the time revolve around issues of natural justice as well as commonsense. To all investigators and policy makers, I ask: What has been the result of the manhunt against former President Dr. Chiluba? Have the billions cited in the allegations been recovered?
Have we forgotten the accusations against our Founding President Dr Kenneth Kaunda that he had amassed about seven (7) billion dollars? Those who will recall that embarrassing search of Dr Kaunda’s home know that only a bible belonging to government was recovered!
So the point being made is that let our investigations be well founded in law and fact. Succumbing to political pressure as explained by my brother is a sure confirmation that professionalism, as we know it, is no longer part of the game.
Going back memory lane, one of the developments that I am on record as opposing during former President Dr Mwanawasa’s administration, was an advert by the Task Force on corruption then; inviting persons with information to corrupt activities to report any such to the task Force. I argued then as I do now that, that was a basis for a roller coaster. A witch hunt, which graduated into lies, grand deception and malicious prosecution by barefoot Lawyers and their associates! As a part consequence, we have schemes and “industries” purely based on greed and the defense of greed.
Naturally, greed breeds hate and in turn, hurt promotes artificial divisions, wherein what “separates” us is magnified in order to achieve narrow goals, which can never and will never wipe away the details of economic malaise. Hard work and dedication to duty covered in divine intervention, as we saw on the 18th of October, will. It goes without saying therefore that the calls for patriotism, the calls for love, the calls for forgiveness, the calls for cooperation are real and must be actualized by each and every Zambian.
Will you be patriotic and contribute to national unity? Time alone will tell. However done and by who so ever, posterity will be at hand to pass its judgment. Each and every Chief Executive Officer of our many institutions must not only be happy with the trappings of their office, but ensure that we give posterity a Smart Zambia, through distinguished service.
As usual, I look forward to your comments.
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