When you are getting a job anywhere, you should know why you are being employed. This is the only way you are going to keep your job. The day you stop doing what you were employed for, those that employed you will sort you out. This is what we see in Chitotela’s predicament. He forgot why he was employed.
The little Bemba that we know tells us that Chitotela is a special noun derived from a Bemba verb ukutotela, which literally means clapping, or praising someone. Considering that his character was already known to all, we can say that the minister was employed to be a cheerleader and participant in whatever his employers directed him to do. With what has happened to him, it maybe that he had stopped worshiping his appointing authority enough. Or he had not shown enough gratitude for the opportunity given to him to loot.
What is happening to Chitotela does not look like law enforcement. The action against this arrested minister looks like loyalty enforcement to us. Many of our people know what is happening in this government. Today, Honourable Chitotela may appear like the master of corruption, but there are people in this regime who have amassed several times more money from corruption than what the arrested minister is accused stealing. But they are loyal and thereby safe.
We are not saying that it is wrong to arrest Chitotela, and have him prosecuted, but what we are saying is that this is a token attempt at fighting corruption. The people behind this have no interest in fighting corruption. We have seen what kind of charges they have slapped on the minister and citizens have seen what the minister was involved in. If they were serious about fighting corruption, they would have gone for everyone involved in the corruption trail published by News Diggers last week – including the Chinese companies.
These people who are chasing after Honourable Chitotela are fighting each other for reasons that are far removed from the fight against corruption. There are only two reasons that could explain this problem. It is either he has challenged the powers that be, or he has not delivered the appropriate shares to those he was supposed to gratify.
The charges which this minister has been slapped with are almost laughable. It is a joke. It looks like he is being blackmailed, that ‘if you don’t cooperate and deliver people’s shares, worse could happen to you’. This looks more like a mafia shakedown, than a legitimate fight against corruption. We can add that, considering the President’s refusal to suspend the minister, it appears like this was a warning shot to simply make the minister know who is boss – nothing more.
Chitotela’s wrong doings and those of other ministers and important figures in this government are very well known. People must ask questions; why was he singled out, and why now? This is the reason why some people are beginning to suggest that Chitotela’s arrest was meant to launder him. We can understand that kind of thinking. But we don’t think that is correct. Chitotela has been arrested because he annoyed someone. This arrest is also meant to send a message to others who, like Chitotela, thought they could stop clapping and get away with it.
If Chitotela is a thief, then he is not the only one. There are others who are stealing but they are clapping well enough and there is no need for them to face loyalty enforcement. If this was law enforcement, there would have been many others arrested even before Honourable Chitotela.
Although we are saying this, we are happy that this has happened. It confirms what many of us already knew that this government is built on corruption and rotten to the core. At least it has given us an opportunity to show the people what the corruption syndicate is doing in this government.
It is now for the people of Zambia to see the damage left by the corruption trail linked to just one minister. The number of companies implicated, and all the individuals he has been dealing with. Think about the damage that is being caused by the entire Cabinet put together. Yet the others are being protected. No one should be surprised that although Chitotela was arrested very publicly, he will continue to fly the Zambian flag on his official car, and nothing will happen to him.
We know that Chitotela’s public humiliation had the full blessings of government at the highest level. But it ends there; this case is closed! Once again, this was not a corruption fight. It was a fierce fight amongst thieves. Those with nine lives like Honourable Chitotela will survive and live to loot another day.