The fight against corruption in Zambia is lost.
It will take a lot of time, reorganization and perhaps complete remodeling to restore confidence in the Anti-Corruption Commission which has failed many well-meaning Zambians who have reported cases hoping that outcomes would be made public to curtail the vices.
The feeble attempts at bringing “small fry” to courts of law for minor infringements is a mockery to the intelligence of the Zambian people, because large scale corruption has been allowed to flourish under many guises.
It is common knowledge and it is even well documented that traffic police are the most corrupt in Zambia and yet how many have been brought to book? Zero in Lusaka. Motorists must face the hazard on busy Lusaka roads, sometimes at peak hours, as if there are no law enforcement agencies to stop the vice.
In Uganda 450 traffic officers were reassigned after being caught soliciting for bribes. Nothing of the sort happens in Zambia.
And yet money changes hands with impunity. Mini bus drivers openly pay traffic officers in full view of passengers because the rot is deep.
What is most appalling is that the Police have an integrity system that is supposed to root out vices and yet traffic bribery is flourishing under their very noses. The moribund Anti-Corruption Commission is even worse as it makes no effort whatsoever to stop the common forms of corruption including roadblocks, where money changes hands openly. They would rather pursue soft targets.
Ordinarily the ACC would have been expected to lead the anti-corruption fight by clamping down on the more overt acts of corruption in the public service.
Perception is as important as reality. The failure by the ACC to investigate and announce the results of such probes as Trafigura, textbook procurement, Sino Hydro and many others are symbolic of the monumental failure of this commission. There is need for members of the public to be told of the results of such investigations to allay fears and ensure that systems have not been abused.
As it stands high profile corruption cases have simply vanished from public view seemingly because the investigation has failed. It is better to admit failure than give a very false expectation. Zambians want to know the outcome of these high profile cases involving billions of kwacha in public funds.
There is no doubt that quality and timely completion of projects have suffered at the hands of unscrupulous and heartless officers who take pride in abusing public systems for personal gain and interest.
These must be removed from the system to bring back profitability, sustainability, certainty and Zambia’s remodeling. This will demand that integrity probity and efficiency become watch words and household tenets for all Zambians to follow and emulate because the future belongs to us and we must give of our best in ensuring integrity.