Erik Pevernagie once said, “When we feel the cards are stacked against us, and we have to confront the arresting questions of our walks of life, we may happen to face up to an ‘apocalypse’. When we meet head-on a disclosure of a ‘new’ truth and come to terms with the destruction of our ‘old’ reality, the disparity might be very challenging, but conceivably liberating as well.”
While Dan Brown noted that, “Sooner or later we’ve all got to let of our past.”
There is some echo of euphoria and also discontent – discomfort – in the manner Faith Musonda’s case was concluded. A ‘sumptuous’ fortune in hard cash, local currency and US dollars plus a mansion among others, forfeited to the State as if returning a wrongly awarded lottery! So was justice served? Is Faith a thief? Can she be described as corrupt or a money launder? Was she an unaware accomplice? Who used her? Why pick on Faith? Was the K65 million and $57,900 the only money she was babysitting or rather safekeeping? Again for who? And why? Why the secrecy about her account of things? Is she clean? Can she now be allowed to run any form of business? Is she trustworthy? Which financial institution can deal with her? How about her other ventures – are they clean and fruits of hard labour?
What’s the best way of putting closure to a sensitive issue involving public interest? Is it by placing a veil of secrecy – confidentiality? What’s so special with Faith? What dossier did she avail to the State for her to walk freely but leaving before that unexplained fortune? Whatever she told the investigators, can it even be trusted – is it actionable? Would an ordinary Zambian be treated this way? Is this the new dawn way of delivering justice? What is at stake? What dots are missing to balance this equation? Who has emerged victorious in all this – Faith or the State?
This reminds us of Anthony Liccione observation that, “A bridge can still be built while the bitter waters are flowing beneath.”
No doubt restitution can be better than some prolonged litigation that ends in some consent agreement! But has the State recovered the true value in this matter?
Our investigative agencies may have their reasons to withhold Faith’s story of things in this infamous heist! We hope Faith’s disposition will lead to greater recoveries. Otherwise, Faith’s adventures will remain an open wound without full disclosure!
As Daniel Schorr put it, “I have no doubt that the nation has suffered more from undue secrecy than from undue disclosure. The government takes good care of itself.”
The new dawn administration may wish to know that there is already public talk that the Zambian justice system favours the rich and works against the poor. Why can’t the same law applied to save Faith’s face be used to negotiate the freedom of a poor Kanyama resident who has just stolen a chicken? Why should a magistrate or judge waste so much time and pomp pronouncing a long sentence on a petty thief, leaving out people like Faith? In a way, this same law is a mockery of justice and a slap in the face of Zambians. The nation demands that names of people involved in that loot be disclosed as well. Disclosure brings about full closure!