Proud and Free: A fresh Zambia
Many years of hard work and dedication to duty, deserve both commendation and reward, just like wrong doing and white collar crimes deserve punishment! No intention in this article is meant to either shield or protect criminality, but civility.
But, who decides? Should prosecution only focus on the so called high profile cases? Sacrificial lambs or what? Without saying so, we are making it complex for civil servants and others to aspire to higher offices, as citizenship demands. What is more worrisome is the fact that we allow reported “crimes” and only swing into action when administrations change. This is a very sad state of affairs, in fact, a national tragedy. I detected the disaster as far back as 2002 and reacted.
My public reaction then, was not supportive of blatant abuse of power and disregard for civil rights. I did not only condemn the action(s) then, I still condemn official wrong doing for violating basic human rights under the guise of fighting corruption.
We began a roller coaster which is slowly but effectively consuming us. We are failing to stop it such that we tragically look forward to a serving Head of State facing arrest and probably “killed” like one Dr. FTJ Chiluba (MHSRIP). President Rupiah Band was arraigned on trumped up charges, with key Cartel members looking forward to him spending nights in cells. Really? Threats were made against President MC Sata (MHSRIP) and another set of threats were recently made against President EC Lungu. Are we serious? What do you think?
Because of the many things that I know, I am unable to directly or indirectly support the Machiavellian operations of shadowy activities of entities, such as the infamous Cartel and its Associates. Evil is written all over these guys and their clubs! It is not only a shame but a severe and tragedy; to be associated with the infamous Cartel, identifiable with vengeance, hate and greed.
I can describe any scenario but will not Judge anybody. However, I get worried when well known personalities abuse societal safety nets provided by dutiful moral platforms.
My point is that we must acquit ourselves from collective irresponsibility generated by pockets of greedy, hate, anger and envy of a few. They simply contaminated society!
Some have issues because of procurement and tender shenanigans. Some “fights” are a direct result of blackmail or seeking to conceal truth. We all know that blackmail is an offense in Zambia and that lies, no matter how flowery, have short legs. Trust me, not even in politics. You shall know them by their fruits!
We must begin calling a spade a spade and my friends in Civil Society, including those whose mischievous crusade must slow down. The thrust in the fight against corruption itself has been contaminated. Too much hullabaloo but only drops of results of convenience!
I only mention Civil Society because I was involved. Civil Society means well and we must not allow desperate folks to either compromise their good works or undermine it. There are plenty examples.
Let nobody allow this noble undertaking by noble men and women, introduce elements of opportunism, and the insidious philosophy of “seek ye the belly, and the rest will follow”. The nature, stature and eminence of Civil Society reflect the pulse of society anywhere.
Why have we gone wrong? In my view, we have gone wrong because of over grown egos of greedy, hate, anger and vengeance; electing to punish well meaning and hard working Zambians. This, in my view is unacceptable. As far as I know, it is not possible to run government in the media or by deceit. It is when you seek to control government from outside that you produce the kind of unpatriotic and unreasonable descriptions, akin to fruit salad.
We have some of our prominent citizens, who were responsible for Zambia’s security for many years. Talking about the police, they are responsible for the security of our Commander in Chief. The head of the Intelligence Operation is in the same league and so are all the bosses in the Zambian Army, Air force and National Service. Why should they be candidates for Chimbokaila? We should abandon the dream of fighting imaginary corruption so that we fight corruption in reality. That should our noble focus, like our noble Eagle!
When administrations change, known military personnel are subjected to ridicule, harassment, humiliation and basically left with terrible emotional scars, while the real “criminals” go about their business unhindered. In this respect, I agree that we should neither support nor facilitate the persecution of innocent citizens using government machinery. You see, malicious prosecution including false imprisonment is a cost to the treasury, which cost can be avoided. We face a daunting challenge of saving GRZ expenditure and I see plenty waste with unreasonable prosecutions that only yield pain and conflict.
It is not an accusation but a serious observation that in the quest to consolidate President Mwanawasa’s grip on state power, a campaign anchored on dealing with plunderers of state assets was unleashed by a ruthless bloodthirsty Cartel. Who are these plunderers and what are the details of the crimes committed? Was the Zambia Police, the Zambian Intelligence and other security agencies in existence when some of these crimes, are said to have been committed? If so, I can only assume that such information of alleged offenses was availed to relevant authorities, which authorities have sworn to uphold the constitution but did not act. Why? Is it inertia, fear or what?
For purposes of this piece, we all know that there has been a lot of talk about corruption in Zambia, but we must now nail it so that our beginning afresh, is neither in vain nor complicated. I am convinced that we cannot anchor our corruption fight on the trappings of the Cartel. Otherwise, it will be garbage in, garbage out!
It appears to me that corruption begins in the civil service, where some officers have decided to defeat “poverty” permanently. When I see a young professional working hard and harvesting, I feel so great. Not so, when I see another person going to the office every day, earning a salary but swimming in proceeds of crime. In this category, I would not include those legitimate multiple incomes, which can be easily traced.
If we agree that we need to do something about our civil service and move away from this sickness of high profile cases, but deal holistically with all cases, we shall be on our way to a solid fresh beginning.
In this respect therefore, as the sitting Head of State and Republican President, HE Edgar C. Lungu, has no choice but to bite the bullet, in his style. All well meaning citizens, including residents from elsewhere, should accept the fundamentals of national building and support a bold move that tackles internal strife. We have already indicated that the origins of this strife are in the past and by known citizens. Unfortunately, they are already pointing fingers. Please, I beg, let’s bury the hatchet!
Concretely, October 24th is slowly but surely approaching. Between now and then, I suggest that all relevant government systems go flat out and establish which cases are really deserving of Tax payers’ expenses and which are only but an abuse of the due process. Going forward, all abuses must be quashed using the law. It is possible for the Ministry of Justice, to use such and present a bill to parliament so that the Presidential assent has the force of all Zambians; as represented.
All this, is a mission aimed at unifying Zambia and removing the unnecessary tensions that I attribute to seeds of destruction from the past. We should not allow our future to be ruled from the graves of the long departed and others living, but malicious.
Just stop for once and look at the effect of pursuing security personnel, say Generals, only because they are no longer at the helm of say the Army, ZAF or National Service. At least I saw with my eyes President RB going to Court at Tax Payers’ cost! Please note: An accusation is just an accusation and one is innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law and not a newspaper, which may misrepresent facts of a case or carry a jaundiced view point.
Now, in no way am I saying that wrong as evidenced should not be punished. For military personnel, I would actually be happy if their cases were dealt with differently but without compromising our legal machinery.
We have a country to run and we have a whole future to deal with. I am campaigning for all Zambians to agree to invest in our future on a clean slate. This clean slate can be the beginning point of healing the scars left by reckless politicking. If South Africans can come out of the messy of apartheid, we have an equally strong reason to face our future in an orderly manner. Make no mistake; nobody will do it for Zambia, but us. The past is only a mirror and campus for the next destination. Which direction do you face? See you next week!
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