[By Changala Sichilongo]
TRANSPARENCY International Zambia (TI-Z) has called on African countries to depart from their rhetoric on poor governance.
Reflecting on the Africa Freedom Day that fell yesterday, TI-Z executive director Maurice Nyambe said: “TI-Z would therefore like to call upon Africa’s leaders to depart from the rhetoric that has characterised their response to the challenges of our times, such as corruption, poor governance, reducing civic space, and many other challenges that have continued to ravage our continent and individual countries.”
He called on the Zambian government to step up efforts on fighting corruption.
“Being a local chapter of a global movement dedicated to fighting corruption and promoting good governance, TI-Z takes particular interest in Zambia’s efforts to fight this scourge,” Nyambe said in a statement yesterday. “In this vein, we would like to reiterate our call to the Zambian government to step up efforts to fight corruption as we believe that if left unchecked, this vice has the potential to decimate our economic, social, political and environmental wellbeing in ways that will make it impossible for citizens to enjoy their freedom.”
Nyambe stated that there was more President Lungu could do to commemorate the day than just pardoning people.
He pleaded with President Lungu to also use the day to reopen Prime Television.
“While TI-Z takes note of and commends President Edgar Lungu’s decision to pardon 2,984 inmates in accordance with Article 97 of the Zambian Constitution, we believe that there is a lot more that the Head of State can do to make the commemoration of this year’s Africa Freedom Day even more meaningful and worthwhile for Zambia,” stated Nyambe. “For instance, we believe that the Head of State should pronounce himself on the unfortunate trivialisation of corruption that we have seen in the recent past from a senior government official. We also believe that the Head of State, also being the leader of the party in government, should further pronounce himself on the unfortunate incidents of lawlessness that have been exhibited by suspected cadres from the ruling party in disrupting radio programmes featuring opposition leaders…In this same light, we wish reiterate our call to the government through the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) to exercise a gesture of goodwill on the day of celebrating Africa’s freedom to immediately reinstate Prime TV’s broadcasting licence in order to restore the freedom that citizens had to choose their own preferred source of news.”