Corruption fight has no direction
The fight against corruption will fail for as long as it has no institution to direct it. We need an institution that will not only show direction but must be seen to be fighting corruption at all levels especially those points of public service delivery. Zambians with access to social media have seen anti-corruption officers in Uganda and Kenya chasing after traffic officers extorting money from motorists. This has never happened in Zambia except for the courageous officer in Chipata who arrested corrupt traffic officers. One wonders what has happened to that officer. The Anti-Corruption Commission is too much of an ivory tower institutions to tackle corruption in any meaningful sense because it is targeting wrong individuals instead of showing the rest of the country that they are fighting this evil at all levels. Let me give an example. Nearly every citizens knows that traffic officers mount road blocks everywhere in order to extort money from drivers and especially taxi drivers. This is a very common practice which goes on under the very noses and eyes of ACC officers. How then can Zambians be convinced that there is a fight against corruption when law enforcement officers are responsible for open graft? No doubt the inspector General of Police is fully aware of the activities of his officers who mount roadblocks in back streets, hidden from public view and sometimes with great cheek in main streets including Great East Road, causing tremendous congestion. Why can’t he take action and replace the entire traffic section for a start, why can’t Government appoint a different authority to inspect for road tax and minor traffic issues? Once Government and the ACC in particular show their seriousness to fight corruption at the most basic level possible then the fight will have started. For as long as the ACC remains aloof and only looks for high level political corruption, they will remain irrelevant and a sheer waste of tax payers’ money.
Henry Kapolo Chawama
War against corruption
I have hope that all of us who are saying “Amen” to President Edgar Lungu’s war against corruption in Zambia will first seek to abandon our corrupt tendencies, before we can join in the war. Corruption, as officially defined, is associated with the misuse of power. But this misuse of power should not be viewed only in the context of political power. I am of the view that those whose duty is to serve the public but who misuse their power for personal gain or to serve a few family members and friends rather than the whole of society should also be made to answer to charges of corruption. It is a well-known fact that there is more corruption at grass root which affect the most vulnerable of our citizenry even far more than at the top. Corruption is a culture in public schools, hospital waiting rooms, colleges and universities, in courts, Police stations, passport offices, market places, and in both ruling and opposition parties during the adoption of election candidates. What is even more disheartening is that, there is corruption even in Chief’s Palaces, and worse still in Churches. Sadly, the double standards and inconsistencies often applied by our cultural and traditional establishments, as well as certain religious beliefs, have provided our traditional leaders and the pastors with loopholes to escape legal liability. Incidentally, the men and women occupying these positions seem to enjoy immunity from challenge, far more than the Head of State. This, in turn, has created a culture of tolerance for corruption among subjects. In some cases, corruption in these major social institutions has arisen due to lack of skills of efficiency and effectiveness in the use of resources, which in turn affects both the outcome and returns on development for their people. It is necessary, therefore, to adopt a different mechanism and approach to fighting corruption that widely and genuinely seeks to streamline citizen engagement in all steps and stages. Ordinary citizens should have a way of providing input to the process. Their opinions should not only be listened to, but also respected and acted upon. The main challenge here is how to engage us the citizens. In this regard, the Anti-Corruption Commission should have an extended role to play. They should seek to improve their performance, and to represent and advocate for ordinary citizens at all levels of social institutions, and further ensure our voices are heard and respected. Corruption has undermined our rights not only as citizens, but also as subjects and congregants; and we cannot afford to wait any longer to reclaim them. Mukuka Chilufya Chambishi Mine Township
Muka-Mambo is a royal name but…
Chongwe Secondary School was opened in 1973 as a boys’ school and at that time the woman’s place was in the kitchen, so a girl child’s education was not on the agenda of the Government. Then Kasisi Girls was opened to carter for orphaned and vulnerable girls, but as at now the fees charged are beyond the reach of any average Zambian, and so the school is for the elite from Lusaka and not Chongwe. Muka-Mambo Girls Secondary was opened to provide education to girls in Chongwe who could not be absorbed by Chongwe Secondary as day scholars. Though it (the School) has the name of her Royal Highness Chieftainess Nkomeshya Muka -Mambo, there is nothing to write home about this school. It boggles my mind as to why Government decided to build a modern school just a few kilometres away from Muka-Mambo Girls School which is in a deplorable state and yet produces better results than most schools. As if that was not enough, Government built and opened another school called Mpango leaving Muka-Mambo which was opened using old structures formerly used as a piggery by NISTCOL-Chalimbana. The school has no modern kitchen, classrooms dormitories and even toilets. Can you for once imagine our dear girl child using pit latrines in this time and era? What if one is sick in the middle of the night? Management has tried but failed and so since the school bears the name of her Royal Highness, I make a passionate but strong appeal to the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to lobby for funds to upgrade this school to the name befitting our Royal Highness Chieftainess. The General Education Minister must come in and help in the construction of modern ablution blocks and classrooms for this School. It makes no sense to build more schools when the old ones which are in dire need of a complete face-lift are left unattended to. As the First Lady continues on her journey to uplift lives of women and girl children, I implore the powers that be to make her visit to the school to have an one-the-spot check. A visitor to this school for the first time might think one is at a refugee camp. Something needs to be done, and the earlier the better. The school has plenty of land for expansion but lacks resources to do so. Can someone please come to the aid of this school which also needs a school bus. That said, my humble appeal goes to Her Royal Highness, Lusaka Province Minister, Chongwe Council Chairman, Minister of Chiefs, Minister of General Education as well as the corporate world to put their heads together and come to the aid of this school, or better change the name because it is a “slap” on the face of the Busoli Royal Establishment to such a high profiled and respected name given to a school in that poor state! Chakwiya Bornface Chongwe