KAWIMBE Chanda, a Lusaka resident, is wondering why investigative wings are delaying to arrest people involved in corruption and money laundering during the PF administration.
He argues that most of the culprits exposed themselves through their lifestyles, hence making it easy for investigative wings to probe them and make quick arrests.
Chanda expresses concern that the delay by the Anti-Corruption Commission, Drug Enforcement Commission, and the Zambia Police Service had raised so much public suspicion that perhaps they were working with the corrupt.
“Is the ACC and DEC working with the former ruling party? We have heard so many [cases of] abuse of public offices by those who occupied them in the former ruling party, mismanaging of public funds, money laundering. But no arrests have been done yet. Can you speed up the investigation process so that the culprits get punished! It’s very annoying seeing thieves sitting in Parliament, debating comfortably and opposing the speech that the President gave in Parliament,” says Kawimbe. “The rate at which ACC and DEC are moving will not result in any recovery of money which was stolen by people who served in the former ruling party, PF. You cannot tell a thief that, ‘tomorrow I am coming to arrest you’ and expect that thief to stay home. Work silently and stop alarming suspects and the public.”
He is right. Mafias will never give the police or the authority an opportunity to destroy them. The corrupt will fight with all they have at their disposal to keep their loot. It is not in their interest to lose, to be sent to jail and shamed – banished from comfort when they can easily buy their freedom! Plunderers are among the most lethal characters. They fortify their trenches by oiling, greasing the system that can turn against them! And it will be extremely difficult for the new dawn administration to fight corruption, to recover whatever was stolen – to investigate and prosecute economic crimes – without introducing radical measures. From what we have observed in the last two weeks, the agencies we have placed our faith in to deal with plunder, looting, are seriously at sixes and sevens! They seem to be heavily dwarfed – in the dark – by the size of the crimes they are supposed to deal with. And this perception or the public’s lack of confidence in these institutions is not a farfetched one! The onus is on the ACC, DEC and others to prove us otherwise.
But Pratibha Patil tells us that, “Corruption is the enemy of development, and of good governance. It must be got rid of. Both the government and the people at large must come together to achieve this national objective.”
And it is understandable that citizens are expressing anxiety. They expect their investigative wings to act with speed, for opportunity to prosecute such cases is the most perishable thing! You can’t give a criminal time and space to move/destroy evidence – to contaminate it. Equally, political will does not last forever.
And Zambians are demanding a real fight because as Ray Davies noted, “Money and corruption are ruining the land, crooked politicians betray the working man, pocketing the profits and treating us like sheep, and we’re tired of hearing promises that we know they’ll never keep.”
So far, it seems the only way to actualise the fight against corruption is for citizens to be fully engaged and make their demands more forceful. Demand tangible results and not hot air from our institutions. Enough with these alarming statements without arrests – no one gets arraigned!
As Bernie Sanders notes, “Real change never occurs from the top on down, [but] always from the bottom on up.”
We should be aware, as Ludwig von Mises warns, “There is no more dangerous menace to civilisation than a government of incompetent, corrupt, or vile men.”
And as G. Edward Griffin states, “To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism.”