Fighting corruption is not an easy undertaking; corruption viciously fights back. Look at the vicious way the corrupt are reacting to the exposure of grand corruption by the Financial Intelligence Centre!
Expectedly, the exposure by Financial Intelligence Centre of the grand corruption going on under this regime will always come under serious attack by powerful vested interests. Zitukule Consortium executive director Nicholas Phiri warns that
Zambia risks becoming a Mafia state where corrupt and criminal elements gang up against public and independent public institutions to cover their clandestine activities.
“We have noted with concern that the leadership of the Financial Intelligence Centre has been on the receiving end of unwarranted attacks from some sections of society following the revelation of systematic criminal activities by the centre involving especially politically exposed persons. As Zitukule Consortium, we are concerned that those attacking the Centre have shown more anger at the act of publishing the trends report that exposes theft, corruption and all manner of graft in public resource management than they have shown anger at the looting going on in the public space. We find this behaviour very strange,” says Phiri.
“Zambia risks becoming a Mafia state where corrupt and criminal elements in the domain of the state, government and civil society gang up with economic interest groups against public good and independent public institutions to cover their clandestine activities. Some of the people attacking the leadership of the centre are subjects of questionable dealings bordering on fraud, which they have not fully accounted for. It is therefore unacceptable that such elements should today become champions of the law which in essence they don’t have respect for simply because it threatens to expose their illicit activities.”
Those fighting corruption need to understand the monstrous nature of the scourge in Zambia today. The fight won’t be an easy one. The corrupt will always fight back with all in their power. But those fighting corruption can neither afford to be exasperated nor deterred. The gravest threats to anti-corruption campaigns often emanate from a combination of intra-elite rancour and political intrigue.
Where anti-corruption efforts are not backed by other radical institutional reforms, they fall prey to the overall endemic, systemic, crisis, a part of which, ab initio, necessitated the anti-corruption war. Corrupt elements in Zambia have built a formidable arsenal of illicit wealth, which they are deploying against those fighting them on diverse fronts. They are today in total control of all the key institutions of the state – State House, the judiciary, parliament, the Anti Corruption Commission, the Drug Enforcement Commission, the police and so on and so forth.
That Zambia’s corruption monster is systemic and hydra-headed is not in doubt. This endemic nature of the scourge means that those fighting corruption cannot jump into half-heartedly and with kid’s gloves. There is need for a holistic and formidable strategy that tackles the malaise from all fronts. A half-hearted approach would be ineffective, as the corrupt in Zambia have regrouped and have the entire state machinery at their disposal.
Today all the social, economic and political structures in the country have been ruined by corruption. The people are pauperised as the ordinary people are always the victims. While the people wallow in abject poverty and want, members of the political class and their business class associates bask in stupendous stolen wealth. Expunging this malaise from Zambia’s system won’t be an easy undertaking or a day’s job. A complete value re-orientation is needed in Zambia.
Corruption fights back in a ferocious manner.
If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us.
While it cannot be disputed that corruption is stultifying growth and development of the nation, it should be pointed out that it is a manifestation of the predatory and dependent state run by parasitic elements. And this menace of corruption is compounded by the impunity of the clique in control of the state machinery. To wage a meaningful struggle against corruption in Zambia, the economy has to be freed from the tiny grip of these parasites, vampires and managed in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, security and happiness of every citizen. To achieve that objective, there will need to harness the enormous resources of the country and redistribute them to serve the common good.
Furthermore, the culture of impunity has to be replaced by the rule of law. Given the lack of political will on the part of this corrupt regime to end impunity, the Zambian people have a critical role to play in the fight against corruption and abuse of power.