by Mukosha Funga on 22 Sep 2018by Sipilisiwe Ncube on 21 Sep 2018by Zondiwe Mbewe on 21 Sep 2018by Mirriam Chabala on 21 Sep 2018
- Goal Diggers
by Stuart Lisulo on 20 Sep 2018by Zondiwe Mbewe on 17 Sep 2018by Mirriam Chabala on 17 Sep 2018by Stuart Lisulo on 15 Sep 2018
by Zondiwe Mbewe on 22 Sep 2018by Zondiwe Mbewe on 21 Sep 2018by Zondiwe Mbewe on 21 Sep 2018by Zondiwe Mbewe on 21 Sep 2018
- Editor's Choice
by WECREATE I ZAMBIA on 13 Sep 2018by Mukubesa Mundia on 27 Jul 2018by Percy Chanda, UPND on 15 Jun 2018by Elias Munshya on 11 Jun 2018
by Diggers Editor on 24 Sep 2018by Diggers Editor on 22 Sep 2018by Diggers Editor on 21 Sep 2018by Diggers Editor on 20 Sep 2018
by Sampa Kabwela on 8 Sep 2018by Mirriam Chabala on 2 Sep 2018by Abraham Kalito on 5 Aug 2018by Abraham Kalito on 3 Aug 2018
- Guest Diggers
by Dr Chisoni Mumba on 21 Sep 2018by Dr Felix Masiye and Dr Bona Chitah on 18 Sep 2018by Chibamba Kanyama on 17 Sep 2018by Sishuwa Sishuwa on 8 Sep 2018
Sacred corruption for sacred ministersBy Diggers Editor on 11 Oct 2017
One of the reasons why Presidents have so much power, ‘unlimited’ privileges and immunity, is because they are expected to have good judgment. Those who draft constitutions and those who enact laws expect that the powers they bestow on a sitting Head of State would be used to the benefit of all citizens.
For example, when the Constitution says all power over land is vested in the hands of the Republican President, it does not mean that the incumbent President owns every plot, farm and bush territory in the country. It simply means that the President is expected to protect all land from abuse, for the benefit of his people. In essence, the President is merely a signatory to its administration, but all land actually belongs to the people. Therefore, it would be immoral for a sitting Head of State to wake up one morning and decide which piece of land to give away and which one to repossesses.
In the same vain, Presidents superintend over the wealth of a country with a huge expectation from citizens that they would commandeer the use of public resources with a great sense of responsibility. A President needs to ensure that all expenditure is of benefit to the people. The fact that a sitting President can order his Cabinet to spend money on a particular project, does not mean that the money belongs to him. He can hold the keys to the treasury, through his Minister of Finance, but the funds belong to the people he governs, including borrowed money. Therefore a President cannot wake up and decide which expenditure should be accounted for and which one should be ignored; that must be left to the people who entrusted him with the key to the country’s public resources.
Unfortunately, that is not the case in our country. In Zambia, our President decides how public money should be spent and dictates how much of it should be accounted for. That is why President Edgar Lungu is at pains to see so many Zambians demanding accountability and transparency in the fire tender scandal, the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway and the RTSA/Lamise contract. Our President is frustrated because he doesn’t want these government deals to be accounted for, since they directly or indirectly, involve people he knows.
“In the last one month there has been this hype about corruption. Especially in the aftermath of the much talked about fire tenders. My ministers and permanent secretaries are now scared of making decisions for fear of being accused of corruption. I cannot take it anymore”, President Lungu said.
We found it utterly strange that this statement was coming from our Head of State, but what made it worse was his complaint that the Anti Corruption Commission was delaying to deal with one individual who was linked to corruption.
“I received a report of wrong doing on the part of one minister and I told ACC ‘you can go ahead and deal with this matter’. Up to now they have not dealt with the matter and I want to find out why,” said President Lungu.
In other words, our Head of State wants the ACC to deal with an individual like Chishimba Kambwili who was accused of corruption but not the other names which the Zambians want probed. He wants Kambwili to be investigated expeditiously, but Stephen Kampyongo must not be touched despite being linked to corruption in the fire tender acquisition. Why? This is a careless way of looking after a country’s wealth. All the money that is used on government contracts belongs to the People of Zambia; it does not belong to President Lungu or his family and friends. Therefore if Zambians say, ‘we want this contract to be probed or cancelled’, giving all the reasons to support their demands, a responsible Head of State must listen. But our President is stubborn. Instead of supporting accountability, he is complaining that his ministers are failing to make decisions because of the numerous corruption allegations. How can they fail to make decisions if those decisions would benefit the citizens? Why are they paralised if they are innocent?
In fact, it is very strange that our President says he cannot take the accusations any more, when he is the one who started the corruption allegation against his own ministers on October 31, 2016.
“I have seen an increase in corruption among Cabinet Ministers, yet our people are suffering. There are constant deposits in people’s bank accounts of huge sums of money on a daily basis. I would urge you (the new Ministers) to desist, to resist the temptation, not to go that way. Very soon I will be firing some Ministers…”
This is what President Lungu said last year, so why is he complaining now that Zambians have joined him in demanding for the removal of corrupt ministers? If Kambwili was corrupt, it is good that he was fired. But there is no good or bad corruption. There is no such thing as sacred corruption for a good cause; it is all theft. Therefore if Kampyongo is corrupt, he must also go, regardless of how useful he is to the ruling party.
President Lungu must not stop the Zambian people from crying, because it is their money. He must let them question every decision made by a Minister, Permanent Secretary or indeed himself. It is him who announced to the people of Zambia that his ministers were corrupt; that they were banking huge volumes of money and acquiring unexplained wealth. So how can he go back to the citizens and say, “your accusations are paralysing my government?”
You work with the ministers, you live next to them and you have access to their bank accounts. So if you say they are thieves, we believe you and warn everyone else. When you tell your neighbours that my children are prostitutes, you cannot go back to condemn them when they start spreading the news that bana baba Lungu nima hule.
About Diggers Editor
The Editor of News Diggers gets to decide what is published. Contact the Editor or send your letters at: editor [at] diggers [dot] news.
- Kabanshi is a very innocent accomplice - 24 Sep 2018
- Lies have short legs; Ambassador Fergus has outrun govt lies - 22 Sep 2018
- News Diggers! ePaper Edition 269 Friday September 21, 2018 - 22 Sep 2018
- Call it ‘debt Christmas’ if you like, the point is, we are so screwed up - 21 Sep 2018
- News Diggers! ePaper Edition 268 Thursday September 20, 2018 - 21 Sep 2018
Subscribe for email alerts
Weekly Most Digged
ArchivesOct0 PostsNov0 PostsDec0 Posts
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
The News Diggers
Deputy News Editor
Plot No. Lus/9812/649-MC8
off Alex Chola Road
P.O. Box 32147
Telephone or WhatsApp:
+26-097-7708285, 095-3424603, 096-5815078
diggers [at] diggers [dot] news
editor [at] diggers [dot] news
Send this to a friend