Governance with morality

We fully support the decision by President Michael Sata to dismiss Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo.

Undoubtedly   the decision shamed members of the cartel whose sense of jaundice and impaired morality culminated in their announcement that the Ministers had been cleared by the Tribunal appointed to investigate her conduct.

By his action the President has raised the moral bar by showing a commitment to the letter and spirit of the law.  He has shown that it is not enough to observe the letter of the law, but to observe the spirit as well by avoiding the conduct that the law looks down upon.

The moral of the story is that you borrow money the rightful thing to do is to pay it back rather than seek a technical mistake in the document to avoid paying back. This called fraudulent misrepresentation or better still theft.

We would like to appeal to the Acting President to give effect to the President’s wishes and immediately intervene and stop this rot which is obviously intended to punish individuals who may have rightly exposed the abuse of power and authority.

This abuse of the law should not be allowed in a country that is founded on tenets that espouse the rule of law. Those who break the law must not be allowed to benefit from their wrong doing.

It is our hope that our lawyers can now take the cue from the President and offer assistance, perhaps on probono basis to the victims of the vicious witch-hunt being undertaken at ZAWA, against the alleged whistleblowers who have been dismissed.

Already three employees have been dismissed following revelations that more than K42million was irregularly paid for chiefs who were imported to testify on behalf the dismissed Minister.

Law as legislative statute has two functions. It ensures order and secondly avoids abuse. One has an effect on the other and in the end the two become synonymous.

That is why it was ridiculous and a sign of moral stunting to suggest that the Minister of Tourism and Arts who was found culpable of abrogating tender laws and procedures was cleared by the Tribunal investigating her.

The Bible in Roman says as much “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.”

 It may indeed be an idiomatic antithesis but serves to illustrate the moral principle underlying the law as a legislative statute. Those who write the laws, indeed those who enacted the Ministerial code of conduct set the purpose of the code in the preamble of the statute and went further to elaborate.

The essence of the code is to ensure that Ministers were selfless in their executionsof duty, upheld integrity by  avoiding undue influence, maintain objectivity by ensuring that merit and no other consideration was given prominence in their decision making process. They were accountable and open to scrutiny, exercised openness in their  conduct and  were honest and in all their activities showed exemplary leadership.