The Bembas say ifyakulya ubushiku fitulikila ku malushi; meaning that whatever is done in secret will eventually come to the fore. What may seem to be an acceptable practice at individual and organisational level could turn out to be monster at national level.
Founder of The African Woman Foundation Joseph Moyo foresees members of parliament, mayors, and councillors who would have bought their way into leadership.
“My reflections are that what stops an MP who has corrupted his way into leadership from seeking kick-backs from some company that is tendering to do a road once he or she is made minister? What would stop a politician from making sure that he gets back what he or she corruptly spent during the adoption process at party level?” asks Joseph. “As long as there is corruption at political party adoption process level this ends up exploding at national governance levels.”
How else can one put it? What Joseph is talking about is a true reflection of what is happening in our society today. Aspirants for various party positions have bought or are buying their adoptions by bribing key officials. This may not just be restricted to the ruling Patriotic Front, but to the opposition as well. And when we talk about corruption, it takes many forms; not just dishing out money. Corruption in this regard can also mean those in charge of adoptions demanding exaggerated loyalty and favours where they are treated as semi-gods. They seek to be worshipped even by those who genuinely deserve to be adopted.
On the other hand, money exchanges hands. We understand from the grapevine that this is the time when political party officials ‘cash in’ from aspiring candidates. What despicable politics! And you expect such characters to suddenly become saints when they occupy government positions? Certainly not!
They’re planting a fertile seed from which they’ll come to loot public resources. After ‘investing’ heavily for adoption purposes and there after canvassing actual votes, what would motivate such characters – leaders – to address corruption? Isn’t it why they become very arrogant towards the electorates? Isn’t it why their language become hostile and they start seeing their positions in public office as permanent cash cows – they cannot let go of them!
And this corruption cannot just be restricted to politics, it’s everywhere.
However, it should not be ignored that corruption starts at individual level. There are certain individuals who cannot do anything without seeking to be bribed or bribing someone. They are simply allergic to the normal way of doing things. Our country is on its knees today because we have corrupt people running it. In the end it is the poor people who are paying for this. The corrupt are using the same loot to buy off those they have stolen from. One does not need to go far to prove this. It is happening now. Politicians are busy throwing money around like mangoes.
During a morning mass in the Vatican back in 2014, Pope Francis said, “Corruption is paid by the poor.”
And Nobel Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchú warned that: “Without strong watchdog institutions, impunity becomes the very foundation upon which systems of corruption are built. And if impunity is not demolished, all efforts to bring an end to corruption are in vain. “
That is why today we have weak institutions of governance because that has been a PF project, to weaken these institutions. There is no government institution today that has been spared from corruption. It all starts from the top, from Edgar Lungu who has institutionalised corruption. Edgar who was very poor in 2014 is now probably the richest politician in this country. And he wants to bully his way into a third term of office using money, even when he knows very well that he does not qualify.
We surely have to wake up and stand against this impunity. We should avoid worshiping corrupt elements who deserve to be in prison. If not, we risk having a banana Republic.