A CHOMA-BASED clergyman says those holding public office must know that their days are numbered and the day of accountability for their actions is coming.
In an interview, Reverend Sialumba Siamoongwa said it was important for those in leadership to realise that what was defending their wrongs now would tomorrow bring them down and make them accountable.
“Those holding public office must know that their days are numbered and the day of exposure as well as accountability for their actions is coming,” he said.
Rev Siamoongwa said Zambia had a leadership in power that was greedy to an extent of even swindling money meant for the elderly.
“Because of corruption, our leaders no longer want to leave power. They are holding on for fear that if they leave their positions, they will be broke like their followers. Political corruption has brought hypocrisy of democracy in Zambia, a dangerous state of affairs,” he said.
“The number one problem we have as a country is corruption. It is stinking everywhere in our leaders and that’s all we can smell from them because to them it has become part of their DNA.”
Rev Siamoongwa expressed disappointment that despite the exposure and efforts to fight corruption, no one so far had been brought to book.
“People in leadership deceive themselves that they are above the law. No wonder we see this corruption among those in the corridors of power because they have chosen to forget that the power they have today will not be there tomorrow and only the few with integrity will be protected,” Rev Siamoongwa said.
He said Zambia deserved better than what was happening on the ground.
Rev Siamoongwa said money laundering and theft were no longer an issue for those in power because they were seemingly untouchable.
“There is growing appetite for those in power to steal from the public. No one is content with what they have and those who stole last year still want to steal this year again. This is why we needed strong institutions that fight corruption because maybe ACC [Anti-Corruption Commission] has become corrupt too, no wonder it is failing to fight the scourge,” said Rev Siamoongwa.
He said there was need for the country to come up with stiff laws that would expose criminals regardless of the position they were holding in government so that the masses can know what type of leaders they had.
Rev Siamoongwa disclosed that Zambians were “heartbroken” at the high levels of unemployment.
He said politicians were using unemployed youths as tools of political violence.
“Poverty is being created as a result of having irresponsible people in charge of public resources and it is making our youths to work as thugs during election campaign periods. Unemployment has broken many hearts of Zambians hence the rise in corruption,” Rev Siamoongwa noted.
He said the consequences of corruption were poor investment as well as scaring away credible investors from investing in the country, coupled with unequal distribution of public resources.
Rev Siamoongwa challenged the PF government to generate the jobs it had promised Zambians during the 2016 general elections.
And Rev Siamoongwa said leadership in any given setup was about relationships.
He explained that the relationship of leaders with their followers should not segregate or be divisive.
“The problem we have in Zambia is that most of our leaders make an error by separating leadership from relationship with people they lead because these leaders want to be honoured even if they have not done anything to improve their relationship with the people,” Re Siamoongwa said.
He said Zambian politicians had learnt the art of building relationships with the people only when they want votes but once elected, they disconnect themselves from citizens.
“It’s a grave mistake for our leaders to think that once they assume leadership positions then everybody will follow them. Our politicians think they know it all and they are the best for Zambia but the truth is that they are the worst,” Rev Siamoongwa said.
He cited an example of the pending dialogue process where politicians under the umbrella of the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue were fighting the Church for trying to unite the country.
“People with rotten mindset, without a vision for the country that have been swallowed by PF, are diluting and polluting efforts made by the Church to promote peace and unity in the country. We are aware that part of ZCID which has been swallowed by PF is trying to intimidate the Church from carrying out its God-given mandate of promoting unity and love for one another in the country,” Rev Siamoongwa said.
The clergyman said the Church was clean and not corrupt as the politicians.
He explained that the three church mother bodies were strategically put by God to free Zambians from oppression and any form of injustice.
Rev Siamoongwa said it was only the Church that could embrace all Zambians regardless of the political party and tribe they belonged to.
“Politicians are demon-possessed, no wonder they fear that if the Church is allowed to lead the dialogue, their hypocrisy will be revealed and probably their demons will start manifesting,” Rev Siamoongwa said.
He urged all parties in the dialogue process to have one mindset.
Rev Siamoongwa hoped that the Church would be used by God to build a bridge of peace among Zambians despite the ZCID and the PF’s efforts to disrupt the process.
He said the national dialogue deserved everyone’s attention because it holds potential to bring unity and political transformation in the country.