Civil Society Constitutional Agenda (CiSCA) chairperson Bishop John Mambo says Zambians are responsible for the looting that is taking place in government because they easily forget and do not hold their leaders accountable.
And Bishop Mambo says Zambia has no leaders but thieves ruling the country, who are in politics to get rich, adding that citizens must declare war against criminals.
Commenting on revelations in the Financial Intelligence Centre’s (FIC) 2018 Trends Report, Bishop Mambo told News Diggers! in an interview that there was no political will by this government to fight corruption.
“We are now calling for a lifestyle audit for those who are serving and those who have served in government before so that we know how people get riches immediately they are appointed in government. In your own village, you never had a bicycle, but overnight you are somebody. Yesterday, you were on Katondo Street, but today, you are a millionaire and you have no respect for people! So, all we are asking is that people explain their wealth, it’s not witch hunting. When you go to Chalala today, it’s like Sandton [city] in South Africa and the people building there are just civil servants! So, why should the President be refusing to comment on the FIC Report with all these happenings? FIC are only following the laid-down procedures within that organisation. So, this thing that they have brought out is what is wanting and it has to be given attention,” Bishop Mambo said.
He observed that politics in Zambia has become a source of ill wealth.
“Politics has become a source of enrichment. Once someone has been appointed, tomorrow all the debts and suffering that they have will be solved through politics and yet you and I know that this is money, which is meant for service delivery. But it’s being diverted. This is money that is meant for drugs in hospitals, but it’s going into people’s pockets! And the reason why we are being treated this way is because we are docile. Today, we shall all beat drums and support FIC, but tomorrow, it will die a natural death. What happened to the fire tenders? Those things cost us millions! What happened to the ambulances? There are many incidences that we have just forgotten about,” Bishop Mambo said.
“Zambians have not reached a position where they will have those who are elected accountable and as a result, it is well. But that’s dangerous because you sit on a time bomb. There comes a time when people say: ‘enough is enough.’ When people say: ‘we fear God and we respect all those that we elected’ and then you take them for granted, there comes a time when other leaders will pay heavily for that. It might not be those in the PF, but those who will come because the system would have totally broken down. The Auditor General’s Report in and out, it’s about stealing! We have no leaders now; we have got thieves serving us. The FIC Report is also saying that we have not declined, we have increased. We stole more in 2018 than in 2017, meaning that the moment the other report came out in 2017, no one adhered to it, it was business as usual. So, where are we taking this country to? But it is you and I to blame because we have always elected people who have never been tested with power. And those that can serve the country better will never enter politics because your politics [in Zambia] is regional, it’s politics of tribe, insults and no one wants to enter there.”
He said if there was political will to fight corruption in the Edgar Lungu administration, many people would have been jailed.
“There is no political will in this government because if there was, a number of people serving in government would have been in jail now. How do you suspend me for having been found wanting of stealing and then the next thing, I am still getting a full salary? What’s the difference between Emerine Kabanshi, who was fired only for being accused of misappropriating funds and someone who is involved? It is now up to Zambians to rise and declare war against this type of stealing. We must start naming and shaming whether it’s me, you or anyone else. People steal with impunity and we know them, and the country is bleeding! The more you get a bit of funding, it goes into people’s pockets. You do not go into government to make money; you go into government to serve. If you want to make money go into the corporate world,” said Bishop Mambo.