GOVERNMENT must strengthen the criminal justice system to prosecute serious crimes like theft by servant to safeguard public resources and help the country turn around the economy, says Patriots for Economic Progress president Enock Tembo.
Mr Tembo said strong measures are needed to deter individuals who are taking advantage of the weak system to pocket public resources at the expense of national development
“This has resulted in pilferage being the largest cost to businesses in Zambia because people know that if they are caught stealing, the most that will happen to them is to lose their jobs and maybe spend a few days in police cells without jail time.
“Once the criminal justice system is strengthen and action taken promptly, this country will develop because the resources would be put to good use,” he said.
He said if all offenders were sent to prison, even for a few months, pilferage would go down as people would be afraid of doing jail time and the economy could grow.
Mr Tembo noted that the various haphazard and uncoordinated efforts being pursued by the Government in the quest to try and turnaround the Zambian economy could only progress by strengthening various key issues that protects the country’s resources.
“We should make sure we do not spend on items that are not in the budget when programmes that are in the budget have not been funded.
“If we were to consistently monitor how our resources are used, Zambia will not be the same within 5 to 10 years, we would be a regional economic power house even ahead of other countries like South Africa,” he said.