PF MEDIA director Sunday Chanda says revelations from the Corruption Perceptions Index that corruption has worsened is an indications that the PF government has put in place mechanisms that are able to effectively detect it in the public sector.
Transparency International Zambia released the Corruption Perception Index last week which showed that the country had dropped by a point from 34 in 2019 to 33 in 2020, an indication that corruption had become endemic.
But commenting on this in an interview, Chanda argued that corruption had not worsened under the PF but that government had placed systems that were effective in detecting corrupt transactions.
“The corruption index is very welcome and maybe there is also another way looking at these corruption indexes that we have been receiving from different stakeholders. The PF has put in place mechanisms and these mechanisms are able to detect corruption early enough. It is not that there is more corruption now than before, it is because there are systems detecting corruption now than before. In the past, it would take a year, two years for the Auditor General for example to raise a flag. This time, the Auditor General can raise a flag almost immediately. So the financial systems and our quest to ensure there is transparency in the application of public resources is above par,” Chanda said.
“There is no regime in this country that has put in early warning systems detecting corruption at a faster rate than we have done. So we are able to detect corruption earlier and that is the point that our colleagues are missing. It would be more helpful for the purposes of the conversation for them to address themselves to the respective legislative framework that have been put in place under the PF with regard to monitoring and tracking usage of public resources. That is how they miss out here, it is one thing to say or no there are so many cases being reported, the question that our colleagues are not asking is why are these cases being reported? Do we still have the same framework that we had for instance under president [Levy] Mwanawasa this time? No we don’t! Do we still have the same framework that we had under president [Frederick] Chiluba? No we don’t.”
Chanda said President Edgar Lungu and the PF had taken a strong stance on corruption by ensuring the right legislative framework was in place to fight the vice.
“President Lungu, what the man has done is to ensure that we have the right legislative framework in place to ensure that we fight against corruption. We understand because our colleagues are coming from a background where corruption was more on witch hunt. Corruption can only be fought successfully when it is fought using legal framework and not witch hunt. As a society, we must be able to learn where we are coming from. How was the fight against corruption under President Mwanawasa conducted? So we must be able to look at the fight against corruption under different regimes, analyze them, and look at the weaknesses and strengths,” said Chanda.
“The PF takes a strong stance on corruption. When you read, the party constitution is very clear that the PF will root out all forms of corruption, tribalism. So even from the point of view of our constitution which speaks to the intent and the spirit of our desire to continue with the management of the governance of this country we remain committed to the fight against corruption. We encourage the participation of all stakeholders in ensuring that our governance processes are above average.”