Fighting Corruption

We have no wish of engaging in polemics with the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).

 We stand by our every word and statement that the Commission is moribund and has failed the Zambian people by reneging on its duty to investigate high level corruption which has cost the country dearly.

When a Government agency fails to perform its duty for political consideration, it becomes our duty to speak out because this failure represents a betrayal of public trust.

    Our duty as a newspaper is to search for the truth and when those who have the truth withhold it; our duty is to report the same. We wish we could do more.  

We see no reason to change our stance that the ACC is moribund and has failed to investigate and report on a number of cases for political consideration and fear of retribution.

We have no respect for institutions that operate in fear.

The crusade against corruption will not be realized for as long as the Anti -corruption Commission remains selective, insular and at worst un-imaginative.

It took a whole Minister in the Eastern Province to identify and stem corruption by Traffic Officers in Chipata. We would not be surprised if ACC officers were among the culprits who paid bribes to the arrested officers.

In Lusaka bribery is a pandemic. Ask any minibus user and they will tell you how deep the rot has gone. Road blocks are now called ATMs because of their regularity and predictability.

Almost invariably a road block will be mounted at any time of the day, offending motorists are asked to park on a side street and negotiations commence. A motorist has a choice of either paying a “meager” lunch token or face the prospects of having the vehicle impounded at the pain of suffering a heavy official fine.

Invariably most Lusaka motorists prefer to donate towards lunch. This is the order of the day and this is how corruption has become so pervasive in public life where free services must be paid for to humor public workers.

However this is nothing compared to the very high profile corruption involving high office. To date we have no explanation why we paid more than US$2 for fuel worth just a little over US$1 from Trafigura.What is most frustrating is that no lessons have been learnt from the Trafigura saga. The same characters including those who “attempted “ to bribe Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba are very much in the fray again. There is no telling what shenanigans are at play this time and we may never know until a new and more resolute ACC  is constituted in the next Government. It now seems to be the pattern that graft institutions would rather wait  until a regime is voted out of office before investigating allegations of corruption.