Zambia must surely rank as the land of the most impunity and most by elections in this part of the world.
This must be the only country where a Policeman can wake up one day and decree the suspension of constitutional rights and hope to get away with it.
This must be the only country where our Police, joint investigation teams, Anti-Corruption Commission will ignore a High Court ruling which reveals and exposes high level abuses of state resources.
They would rather pursue a 76 year old man on unspecified charges because they are petrified of confronting the more powerful criminals serving in Government. They would rather wait until they retire.
This is the only country where crimes will be ignored, offences pushed under the carpet and outright wrong doing condoned without the slightest of bother because those involved enjoy executive favour. The Police know it, the ACC know it, the so called Joint Investigative team knows it but none will act because they are afraid.
Indeed this must be the only country where by elections costing billions of Kwacha can be held as a matter of course by the ruling party as a matter of its policy in order to change the complexion of Parliament to its favour.
This must be the only country where an oil supply tender worth US$500million is awarded in less than clear circumstances and Government finds no cause whatsoever to explain itself to the citizenry.
This is a country where an entire Director General of the Anti-Corruption Commission, whose tenure of office is guaranteed by law can be removed at the whim of private individuals who hold favour with the executive, resulting in a commission which is petrified of tackling high level corruption.
It is a sad state of affairs, which, if not controlled will result in very difficult circumstances in the near future when impunity will become the order of the day.
The danger is that roles will be reversed. Those who abuse the law will have so much power that any suggestion at constitutionalism will become anathema and those advocating it will be cited for “impudence” which may become a capital offence.
This is not so far fetched. It exists in some of our neighboring countries where Non Governmental organizations are banned and any attempt at enforcing civil rights is prohibited.
In Uganda, a combination of Police and Army became so powerful that civil society ceased to exist, random arrests, disappearances and extreme abuses of the law forced the country into a virtual pit of hell.
We must avoid this development while we still have the chance.
Liberty and democracy are not given on the silver platter. Very often it must be fought for against those who benefit from privilege, those who enjoy impunity and get away with scandalous abuse and theft of public funds- all because they enjoy executive favour. It has been said that democracy can never be given; it must be fought for because democracy is not a luxury but a practical necessity for humanity.