Those who speak in defence of the government and the ruling party have continued to spread the narrative that talking about corruption is bad for the country. They are telling people not to be proud of saying we have problems of corruption, hunger, debt and a collapsing economy in Zambia. “Everything is okay, and Lungu is on control,” they say.

What this means is that they don’t consider any of the problems listed above as issues that people should complain about. To them, there is no corruption in Zambia, there is no hunger anywhere in the country, government doesn’t owe any debt and the economy is in tip-top form.

Well, when you think critically about it, you can choose to agree with them. How can they see any hunger when they have plenty of money to buy not just food, but the entire restaurant? How can they see that the economy is collapsing when nothing in their diet has changed? They still spend the same way they have been spending since they got into government. So how can they agree with those who say the economy is on a downward spiral?

They are telling people to stop complaining about it because they don’t believe it exists. They have embraced theft as part of government policy. Stealing in the PF government is okay as long as one can justify and defend it. This is why they don’t consider stealing a crime because they are simply getting away with it.

When committing a crime, people try to hide. That’s why those who break into houses do it under the cover of night. Those who go to rob banks wear masks so that no one sees their faces. They do this on the realisation that they are committing a crime. Even witches and wizards fly in the night to bewitch people because they understand that their conduct is not publicly acceptable.

The criminals in the PF government don’t care. It doesn’t matter who is looking; they just take. They are stealing from public coffers as if they are taking food from a fridge in their houses. That’s why they don’t want people to complain because as far as they are concerned, they are just taking, not stealing.

Look at the ministers in this PF regime! Who among them can claim to have been rich before joining government? Who among them can claim that before they had access to public funds, they had the financial capacity to donate millions to churches, marketeers and other voters? None of them! Where has the money they are flashing around come from?

There is no doubt that there is a looting competition going on. The battle among government officials in this PF regime is not about public service, but who has stolen the most and who owns what. Collectively, they own about 90 per cent of the properties that are sprouting in the cities. This is the only explanation of the property boom in the face of a collapsing economy. They are hiding their proceeds of crime in office apartments, houses, plush restaurants, malls, casinos etc.

Those who disagree with our view should take a tour around Lusaka and see how many malls are being constructed, how many high-rise office apartments are being constructed in the city, yet they are not being occupied. Even old malls have plenty of unoccupied shops because there is no business. Companies are folding and shutting down their trading spaces, yet on every corner, there is a new mall coming out. How does that make sense?

It is common knowledge that every business is driven by demand. But in Zambia, the property business seems to be going against the order of nature. Such clear cases of money laundering disturb the economy and have serious long-term implications. Economists can’t explain what is going on. The answer is simple, ba Pompwe are running the economy. They are not stealing, but taking – in broad daylight.

That is why as they leave government one by one, their businesses also shut down because they were only conduits for corruption and money laundering. We sound foolish when we say these things today, but a time will come when all those serving in this regime will have to explain how they earned all this money.

The sad part about life and power is that you cannot be on top forever. Just like buttocks, one has to go down and pave way for the other to go up in order for the journey to continue.