SOME South Africans have taken to Twitter to mock Zambians over their apparent passiveness following what they have described as massive corruption in government.
South Africans, who have been aggressive and pro-active on matters relating to corrupt activities involving prominent businessman Atul Gupta, have been mocking Zambians over the silence in the wake of corruption allegations in the purchase of 42 fire machines for US$42 million and the US$1.2 billion Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway.
Barry Roux, one of the controversial South African political commentators on social media, wrote using his Twitter handle IG@AdvBarryRoux: “At this stage, I will only assume Atul Gupta would capture Zambia even by E-wallet and the people wouldn’t even move a finger.”
Another South African, GibraltarZA, retreated: “They are docile”
He further tweeted: “Babakaduduzane and the Guptas must just go to Zambia where Ministers and the President abuse State money and the people just go dololo [South African word for nothing],” with several retweets agreeing with his observation while Chama Chanda warned him to be careful because President “lungu is looking for people like you”.
He also tweeted: “Someone must go to Zambia and awaken our sleeping cousins before they bed wet on our continent. $1 million for a fire truck?…In Zambia, the President and his ministers are allowed to steal state money…maybe Jacob Zuma has been taking lessons from them.”
Stanley Nyirongo retreated and said: “Y’all already bed-wetted on our continent, the same urine from the Guptas’ nightmare is too much that it’s spreading to Zambia” while YouMe retreated: “We need to speak out against theft of public resources…people [are] dying without medical help in hospitals.”
The Guptas are an Indian-born South African business family whose most notable members are the brothers Ajay, Atul, Rajesh ‘Tony’ Gupta as well as Atul Gupta’s nephew Varun Gupta.
The family’s strong ties to South African President Jacob Zuma, both personally and through its company Oakbay Investments, have been the subject of extensive international scrutiny.
The ties have led to widespread claims of corruption, undue influence and of state capture, a term which is used to allege that the government undertakes activities and decisions, decides some high level appointments, and determines control of some state enterprises, for the Guptas’ direct or indirect benefit, or in agreement with the family.
Most tweets have compared the corruption in Zambia to that of the Guptas and President Zuma, who, however, has received massive criticism in South Africa’s parliament and among civil society movements.