Former vice-president Nevers Mumba says Zambia international image can only be restored when government strengthens its commitment to the fight against corruption.
In an interview, Mumba, who is also MMD faction president, said government should publicly tell the people progress made in investigating or prosecuting certain corruption cases.
“First of all once we had the cash transfer problem, government must come to the fore and share to the Zambian people on how they are resolving that matter so that the international community can see our determination to ensure that any level of corruption is punished immediately. And we should not allow any accusations as a people to just so called die a natural death because non of that dies a natural death. We expect that government can publicly show will and spirit for fighting for the image and name of the country. I think in both cases raised, government should show publicly that they are actively working on it on resolving that matter in order for us to rebuild our confidence,” Mumba urged.
He said a good image was important for national development.
“You see, it is extremely important that our international perception is above good. In a global world like ours, our survivor in terms of attracting investment or be entrusted to get loans or for people to excited to be investing in our country, it all depends on a good name. And if we fail to project a good name, we are unable to attract the necessary investment that in the long run will get us out of our current economic crisis,” Mumba said.
“I think we are the ones doing damage to ourselves. We are in debt at the moment and the best thing we can do while we are resolving our debt problems is to work tirelessly on the image and the name of our country. So anything that throws mud at the image of the country must be fought with everything we’ve got until our name is clean. Without a good name, we cant prosper, without a good name, we can not be a destination, without a good name, we can not come out of our crisis right now. I think Zambia needs to dedicate more time in working on our image which has not been good. And So we to ensure that we put all our efforts to clean up our name.”
Meanwhile, Mumba urged government to take American Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote’s statement on corruption in Zambia very seriously by investigating some of the things he alluded to.
“Diplomacy itself has got regulations and boundaries if as a diplomat I have a concern on how some of the funding, especially if that funding comes from my country to another country, the responsibility goes to the extent of presenting those concerns to the authorities and request or demand a response or clarification on how the resources have been utilized or improperly utilized. Once that happens, if you are not satisfied then you will have to report to your host country and they will give guidance and from the host country at the bilateral level they will raise a concern with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and eventually, it will go the agency that has mismanaged the and demand accountability,” said Mumba.
“I think what happens in the process of that, that information usually comes out and it’s at that level that the nation should satisfy the citizens that the accusations against us as a nation are not founded in truth or if they are founded in truth can we have a prosecution of those people who are implicated in it. So we can not be quiet on such a heavy allegation, I think the Zambian government has also got the right to ask the American ambassador to quantify these concerns and accusations. And those things should be investigated immediately and whosoever is implicated must be taken to task and allow the law to take its course that is how you work in diplomatic matters. So I think there is an issue on the table which government must pursue that and demand from the American Ambassador for further information and that information must be verified and investigated and the Zambian people deserve to know how government is going to resolve that part.”