In their weekly newsletter to News Diggers! Banda observed that corruption seemed to be an acceptable practice in politics around the world.
He, however, noted that the practice had heavily affected Africa, whose leaders portrayed “special skills” for greediness.
“In many developed countries, political leaders who abused public offices during their tenure are prosecuted, while in Africa many go scot-free, causing future leaders to continue on the same path of looting. Corruption has caused many challenges for governments around the world, including Zambia. There just seem to be no care whatsoever, the consequences of such acts from heartless political leaders and their business associates. They don’t care that people are dying in hospitals because of lack of medicines and equipment; they don’t care that children fail to learn in proper environments due to lack of facilities. Farmers fail to get their adequate supply due to the corrupt system,” Banda noted.
He stated that the fight against corruption was PAC’s first priority, adding that a very significant portion of Zambia’s problems could be eliminated once they clamp down on corruption.
“The PAC believes that a very significant portion of the problems we face today could be eliminated once we clamp down on corruption. The fight against corruption is PAC’s priority number one. Corruption has been a cancer in so many ways. Services are either delayed or not delivered at all, due to corruption. Government’s supply chain has had to purchase goods and services at overly inflated prices due to corruption. The wrong people have been awarded tenders, even when it is clear that they don’t deliver or deliver poor quality goods and services. All this is the fruit of corruption. Corruption is a cancer,” Banda observed.
He stated that PAC would restructure systems and come up with new and modern ways to fight corruption, adding that that they would introduce fast track anti-corruption court.
“We need to ensure that the Judiciary is reformed for speed delivery of prosecution and judgements. Just as we have a small claims court, and the RTSA fast-track courts, PAC will introduce fast track anti-corruption court. We must also set precedence to prevent future leaders from committing the same crimes. Once PAC forms government, forensic audits will be conducted in the activities of previous governments, and all found wanting will be punished to set a good example for those who may want to contemplate getting involved in corruption. All properties acquired from abuse of public funds will be repossessed under PAC,” he pledged.
Banda added that they would also implement an electronic procurement system that boosts competition and transparency in the procurement of goods and services.
“We have to place in systems that will make it easy to trail corruption. We need to implement electronic systems to improve transparency in the operations of government, especially in the supply chain. PAC will implement an electronic procurement system that boosts competition and transparency in the procurement and outsourcing of various goods and service.
Meanwhile, Banda stated that PAC would ensure that the system that had long supported the people close to the corridors of power was stamped out by restructuring the existing Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
He added that they would ensure that the ACC takes an interest in the Auditor General’s reports, adding that government officials who did not execute their duties professionally would either be dismissed or be recommended for prosecution, should elements of corruption be cited.
“The PAC will ensure that the system that has long supported the people close to the corridors of power is stamped out. This will only be possible by restructuring the Anti-Corruption Commission. It must be an autonomous body in order to ensure that the ACC is able to prosecute even high-level individuals, such as Ministers, without having to ask permission from the President. The PAC will introduce stiffer punishment for individuals who will be caught in corrupt deals,” stated Banda.