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Don’t give chance to plunderers, thieves

Senior chief Puta of the Bwile people of Chiengi district in Luapula Province says outgoing President Edgar Lungu was a careless leader who never cared for the poor.

In his congratulatory message to President-elect Hakainde Hichilema, Puta said Lungu defended thieves at the expense of innocent people.

“Abantu balecula; ifilingile fyaya kubantu fyaleya mu matumba yama (People were suffering; what was supposed to be given to them was going into the pockets of) leaders. President Edgar Lungu was a careless president ushalemona ifyo

abantu baleonaula (who never saw how people were destroying the country),” said Puta. “He supported thieving, elo umuntu nga alandako mailo kuya mwikata (and if anyone spoke against that the following day they would be arrested). That was dictatorship. My young brother was arrested.

Ukubika imfumu muma (locking up a chief in) cells! Cena ico nshakamwelele Lungu. Ukuya imya utufumu tunono ukutila tuleimina fwe mfumu shikalamba! (And for that I will never forgive Lungu. He incited sub-chiefs to rise against we the senior chiefs)! Awe (no) it was very bad.’’

And on Friday, the Drug Enforcement Commission confirmed having seized bank accounts for Valden Findley and Joseph Malanji. For most of his tenure, Edgar defended his ministers and associates. Most of the time he could go at length to say those allegations were just malicious; mfwiti, mfwiti ilikuti!

Now it seems we are yet to see what was contained in the Titanic that has sunk – the PF. The nation might wake up to a rude shock when the investigative wings unearth the rot committed by the outgoing regime. It seems that what we think we know about Edgar’s corruption and plunder could just be a tip of an iceberg. We shall soon see what made his minions like Bowman Lusambo boast about having a lot of money. PF members with no known businesses used to flaunt money – boast of having built mansions, how they could purchase brand new automobiles! How? Where did they get the money, the wealth?

As we patiently await outcome of investigations, we urge citizens to be vigilant!

The DEC, ACC and other investigative agencies must work with full tenacity to remedy what went wrong.

They should move at full throttle. There’s a saying that when you’re dealing with the corrupt, the plunderers, it’s like dealing with the mafias or the drug barons. They can be vicious. If you give them any space, they will come back at you with full vigour. The best is to strike at them before they mobilise, strategise and come to defend themselves. It will be of great importance if the investigative agencies move in swiftly. Do not give these characters chance to breathe. In fact, once you convict one of them, domino effect takes care of the rest!

You just ‘tune on the radio’, and evidence will be in abundance! They will start giving you insights of who else was involved and who did what – that’s how you deal with the corrupt. But if you cast your net wrongly and conclude investigations in a prolonged manner, you’ll reap nothing.

As Joseph Stalin guided on corrupt leaders, “When the leader they support was caught in a corruption scandal, my friends will say there are bigger fish to catch while ignoring the fact that their leader is corrupt. You cannot fight corruption with corruption, all forest fires start from small and eventually grow massive. If you vote for a corrupt leader because he champions your race or religion, you deserve everything you asked for – crime, robbery, violence and etc.”

And on forgiving and defending the corrupt, Albert Einstein warns that, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”

The nation should not see another broad and too stretched anti-graft episode, and cases going on for five years before getting conclude. We cannot afford another anti-corruption crusade ending in nolles and acquittals. Or indeed in consent agreements!

We hope that this time around, our security agencies will do a tighter but fruitful job.

It is crucial that fraud, all crimes committed against the people of Zambia are investigated and prosecuted. Crime must be punished to deter or prevent future crime by frightening the defendant or the public.

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