CHIKONDI Foundation president Bishop John Mambo has urged Zambians to declare a war against corruption in the country.
And Bishop Mambo says accolades speak for late president Levy Patrick Mwanawasa on his spirited fight against corruption and well performing economy.
In an interview, Bishop Mambo, who is also a Civil Society Constitution Agenda (Cisca) chairperson, said if what was happening at forest 27 was not stopped, Zambia would be in big trouble.
He said President Edgar Lungu must think within his heart and leave a good legacy by protecting forest reserve 27.
Bishop Mambo said Forest reserve 27 should not be politicised because it was a reservoir for Zambians whose lives depend on the underground water bodies.
“For the President [Edgar Lungu], it is important that you leave a legacy as someone who has served the entire nation, not just certain individuals, because what we are seeing here is that you wake up in the morning Lusaka has no land for anyone to be allocated land. But all of the sadden there is land for government officials such as ministers, permanent secretaries, judiciary,” Bishop Mambo said.
“Everyone has said it that continued construction on Forest Reserve 27 will have a bad effect on us. Why should we be so stubborn to traditional rulers? Senior Chieftainess Mukamambo II, through her Indunas, they have come out to say please this forest is in our area and there themselves they have not shared among themselves because they have adhered to advise on what the land holds. This is the biggest reserve for water for Lusaka.”
Bishop Mambo said leaders must pay attention to what Zambians were saying rather than dismissing every counsel given.
“This is not a political issue; it is about the future of this country. Our people must start listening because stubbornness is not helping us. You will lose nothing by simply saying we have heard and stop that and give them land elsewhere,” Bishop Mambo said.
“If no one is listening, I pray that any government in future should come and reposes the land…we have reached a stage where we should declare a war against corruption. If we don’t stop what is happening now, we are in big trouble tomorrow.”
And on the late President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa memorial, Bishop Mambo said Zambians must go back to the drawing board and make amends to the mistake they made in the fight against corruption and bad governance.
He said Mwanawasa’s government provided a service to Zambians not for personal enrichment.
Bishop Mambo said if Mwanawasa was in power today, people who were in government would not be hired under his leadership.
“[Levy Patrick] Mwanawasa has a legacy, he was a president of the people, elected into power by a very narrow margin. In some countries, he would have never been president to take over from Chiluba. But when you come to think of it, it was a prayer answered. Mwanawasa introduced a taskforce on corruption which was headed by Mark Chona. What was recovered was made public. He talked about a lifestyle audit on everyone, starting with him as a president and going to the vice-president, [but] here we are resisting and the reason is known that ‘once that auditing takes place, we will not account for what we have’,” he said.
“Accolades speak for him on what he archived in seven yeas as a Republican president. Mwanawasa fought corruption; he was the first [vice]-president to have resigned because he would not stand corruption. He came back because the late president Chiluba called him back…. God used Chiluba to pick and bring Patrick Levy Mwanawasa and during his tenure of office the economy was not bumpy, it was doing very well. We saw a president who was a farmer and we recorded a bumper harvest. Under Mwanawasa’s leadership, no one would not play with corruption.”
Bishop Mambo said leaders must emulate Mwanawasa’s big, good heart for the nation.
“He was called all sorts of names but he concentrated on providing good leadership. He was a humble president who served Zambian people with diligence. He was an exemplary leader and his legacy was above board. Had we continued on the path of Mwanawansa, Zambia would not have been the same today,” said Bishop Mambo.