It’s an illusion, a waste of time, for anyone to think that Edgar Lungu can deal with the issues raised in the Financial Intelligence Centre report and have those involved in corruption prosecuted. Edgar is part of the corruption and other abuses going on in the Patriotic Front and its government. State House is the citadel of corruption and abuse in this country.
To this day Edgar has failed to explain the source of his declared wealth, leaving aside that which he has not declared.
It’s not a secret that the Financial Intelligence Centre has advised Edgar and those around him about their money laundering activities.
It’s not possible for the Financial Intelligence Centre to shield Edgar and his minions’ transactions from scrutiny because their work involves cooperation with other institutions around the world. In fear, Edgar and his minions have even attempted to reverse or redirect some of their financial transactions. We may not know what Edgar and his minions are doing but the world knows. In the long term, they will not get away with it. But expecting Edgar to take action against any of his minions for corruption is being naive.
And National Democratic Congress Central Province youth chairman Delkins Bwalya is wasting his time urging Edgar to let the law take its course on individuals cited in the Financial Intelligence Centre report. Delkins is certainly well meaning but he may be ignorant of Edgar’s personal involvement in the corruption and other abuses going on in the Patriotic Front and its government. And Chishimba Kambwili, a key leader of NDC, has openly linked Edgar to the corruption going on in this country.
Delkins says Edgar should show political will in fighting corruption like his predecessor used to do and allow law enforcement agencies to deal with individuals in his government that are alleged to have misappropriated, misapplied and siphoned government resources. Hehehe, hehehe! How possible is this? This will be tantamount to Edgar arresting and prosecuting himself! Is that possible?
The problem is that we Zambians forget easily.
In a ZNBC television interview in 2015, Edgar made it clear that no one was in power for service but self betterment. And in power, Edgar proceeded to do just that – enrich himself in the shortest possible time.
From the very beginning, Edgar surrounded himself with the most corrupt and intolerant elements. This was not accidental. It reflected the true character and purpose of Edgar’s involvement in politics. Self enrichment was the main reason for Edgar’s pursuit of power. And this is the main reason why Edgar is today seeking a third term of office.
The Zambian people must nail their political shades to the mast and take decisive action to root out corruption of Edgar’s regime in all its forms. Remaining silent is not an option for anyone of us given both the moral and economic imperative and associated cost of failing to decisively address the corruption of Edgar and his minions.
A positive and attractive investment environment is fundamentally undermined by corruption in any form.
There is rising perception, underpinned by the Financial Intelligence Centre report that there is an increased level of maleficence in Zambia within both the public and private sectors and led by State House.
This depicts an extremely poor picture of the country and is cause for great concern, given the substantial impact of corruption on the economy. Corruption not only discourages foreign direct investment but also diverts limited public financial resources that are required both to provide much needed social support as well as to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
The cancer of corruption needs to be exocised completely if Zambia is to unlock its economic growth potential, create much-needed employment, address poverty and inequality and thereby achieve critical social cohesion.
Every effort must be made to thoroughly investigate acts of corruption and maladministration and to root these out in all sectors of the economy, both in the public and private sector.
A critical determinant in turning the tide against corruption is recognising that Zambia needs to address a lack of effective, competent and capable governance. Corruption will continue to go unchecked unless and until proper accountability, coupled with transparency and capable, credible oversight measures are put in place.
An additional cause for concern is the country’s wholly inadequate track record in successfully prosecuting corrupt activities. Despite allegations of corruption and money trails that could or should be investigated, many parties are unwilling to step forward and to report or act on the issues. People must be encouraged to take forward allegations without fear or favour, in the full confidence that the authorities will act honestly, properly and expeditiously.
Poor governance poses a serious threat to Zambia’s economic growth potential and undermines the moral fabric of society. Decisive action and condemnation by all the leaders – political, religious, traditional, civic or otherwise – in society is urgently required to prevent the current and growing levels of corruption from fundamentally undermining the promise of a stable and prosperous Zambia.