Ethics in Governance

President Michael Sata has no choice but to review the quality of his support team.

In any other country the stinging rebuke delivered by the Supreme Court should have led to the automatic resignation of Acting President Wynter Kabimba, together with all the officers behind the ill conceived application dismissed by the Court.

That legal suit, to block opposition candidates, had no merit whatsoever and only served to undermine public confidence in the Government. On this ground alone the responsible officers should resign because the Government cannot be seen to be promoting partisan political interests.

Sadly this country has no record of  Ministers resigning on account of contrition.  The only resignation on a point of principle came from former Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba who is paying rather dearly for his forthrightness.

The President must know that his Government suffers from a serious perception problem because it has embraced people who lacked integrity and moral rectitude.

That is why simple and straightforward matters such as his travel assume proportions that generate acrimony, controversy, anxiety and ultimately political fallout. Zambians do not appreciate being duped and poorly executed pictures and reports to mislead the nation did a great disservice to the President.

The Presidency is an institution which should not be shrouded in secrecy and surreptitious movements especially when they involve external travel.  These generate misunderstanding and at worst rumours which suggest the worst.

It should be remembered that this country suffered the unfortunate mishandling of the late President Levy Mwanawasa. Lessons should have been learnt to ensure that the Presidency was handled with greater transparency.

Nobody will deny President Sata an opportunity to seek treatment outside the country. At his advanced age and previous medical history it would be unrealistic and certainly out of character for any right thinking Zambian to rejoice or delight in his health challenges.

The Government should have taken the cue from the family which readily stated that the President had been prevailed upon to take a rest.  This was understandable because the President, seen by millions of Zambians on television, looked frail.

That is why Zambians were perturbed by the less than unceremonious “evacuation” of the President to an unknown destination, in a manner that suggested the worst possible scenario.

This was not necessary and only served to raise anxiety and rumours.

Our hope is that President Sata will move expeditiously to address public concerns about the lack of integrity and morality in the Government to ensure that confidence is restored and that Zambians can once again look up to Government as a source and custodians of the highest standards of probity, diligence and rectitude.

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