Establishing the truth

In his very first Angelus to a crowd of 300,000 in and around St. Peter’s Square, the new Pontiff, Pope Francis urged the faithful to be merciful, forgiving, show empathy and love towards one another.

It was as if the Pope had witnessed the debate in our National Assembly over the removal of immunity from former Republican President Rupiah Banda, where our MP’s waxed lyrical about the wrongs of our former President

In his homily last Sunday, where the Gospel reading was about the woman caught in adultery, one of our own Priests asked what Jesus would have done if he had been present in the National Assembly, as the members were asked to debate and vote on the removal of immunity.

He would surely have first looked at Wynter Kabimba the mover of the motion and as written in the Bible bent down to write in the sand, we don’t know what he would have written but Wynter knows. Would Wynter have been the first one to cast a stone at RB? We doubt it.

The bible tells us that Jesus doodled in the dirt and uttered the words: “Whoever among you is guiltless may be the first to throw a stone at her.”

When he looked up the woman’s accusers had disappeared, disappearing by precedence of age perhaps, signifying the accumulation of transgressions, because none was clean. They were all tainted in one way or another.

The story is about hypocrisy, sin, forgiveness, grace and most importantly the integrity and respect of the person accused.It was not Jesus but an opposition member of Parliament Ephraim Belemu who remained behind after the others had marched out in protest, who looked up to the government bench and accused it of complicity in corruption.

Indeed the entire government is complicit to worst possible form of corruption, theft and abuse of authority to which they have remained conspicuously silent.

This is the same house that ratified the appointment of Mutembo Nchito as Director of Public Prosecutions; it is the same house the blessed the irregular removal of the Director-General of the Anti-corruption Commission.  Need we say more?

This if the same House that has maintained stoical silence, to revelations of theft of billions of Kwacha from properties sequestrated by the defunct Task Force of Corruption.  However, as the saying goes, to every dark cloud there is a silver lining.  Perhaps the events of this week mark the emergence of the open season, where nobody not even the Anti Corruption Commission nor the shameless, faceless and ubiquitous Joint Government Investigation team can claim to be beyond public scrutiny

The fact that these institution moved with such phenomenal speed to influence and indeed get a motion in Parliament to seek the removal of immunity  from former President Rupiah Banda, makes them  individually and collectively  amenable to public scrutiny also.

It means that in the name of public interest they must explain their modus operandi and more specifically why certain cases can be investigated while others remain sacrosanct. We notice that long before the issue of President Banda’s immunity arose there were many contentious issues under discussion. Among them was the US$500million oil procurement deal from Trafigura. This was in addition to the Billions of Kwacha

John Stuart Mills in his letter to George Grote, spoke of public interest as being concerned with “human happiness, even one’s own, is in general more successfully pursued by acting on general rules, than by measuring the consequences of each act; and this is still more the case with the general happiness, since any other plan would not only leave everybody uncertain what to expect, but would involve perpetual quarrelling …”

Therefore we expect that the Bank of Zambia issues will be tackled expeditiously.