FORMER Attorney General Musa Mwenye says Zambians should forget about the fight against corruption if asset recovery is the Anti-Corruption Commission’s only goal.
In a statement shared on his Facebook page, Thursday, Mwenye said corruption could not be fought without punishing offenders and deterring would be wrongdoers.
He argued that the rewards of corruption were so high that to deter it, the aim should be to punish would be offenders and make the process unpalatable enough to far outweigh the benefits.
“If asset recovery is the Anti-Corruption Commission’s only goal, then, we can just forget about the fight against corruption. You cannot fight corruption without punishing offenders and deterring would be offenders. The rewards of corruption are so high that to deter it, the process and aim must be to punish would be offenders and make the process unpalatable enough to far outweigh the benefits. It cannot be done any other way! Although I do not advocate for it and we should never introduce this here, but there is a reason why in countries like China, corruption is a capital offence punishable by death. It is to deter offenders and make the pain of the punishment greater than the benefit,” stated Mwenye.
“If all I have to do is give back what I stole, which did not belong to me in the first place, how will that deter me from stealing again? How will it deter others from stealing? If a person who steals K3000 from you, is asked to give back the K3000 with no prosecution (the process of prosecution is itself painful), no jail term and no repercussions whatsoever! All that has happened is that the thief has just gotten an interest free loan from you without your permission! He and others will attempt to get another unauthorized loan – you can be guaranteed of that!”