FORMER Attorney General Musa Mwenye is wondering why those in government are in the forefront attacking institutions of government while defending the corrupt. He also notes that the levels of corruption in Zambia have reached unprecedented levels.

“Why do we feel the need at government level in this nation to defend the corrupt and bash agencies that have been built over several years to fight corruption? We have seen wastage [of resources] at a level where you can conclude that there must be something wrong. I am on record as having called for lifestyle audits, starting with myself. I have served in government for three years and I don’t have any problem with ACC or anyone else asking me about what I had before I went into government. What is wrong with all of us accounting for the wealth that we have? You can’t have a situation in a country where people only become successful business people when they are in government,” said State Counsel Mwenye.

Well, this is what happens when you have mediocre, self-serving leadership in place. Politics need people with high credibility; people with substance whose every word, every act and every policy conforms to the people’s interests. When a President makes a decision to reshuffle his Cabinet or to change the leadership of key government institutions, it must come with results. Dismissing an individual out of vindictiveness amounts to nothing less than pettiness and childishness.

Zambia needs leaders with integrity, credibility and maturity to solve the problems that are before us. No one will come and lecture us on the necessity for visionary and hardworking political leadership that is imbued with the desire for change that is anchored on democratic governance and patriotism to our nation.

No one will come and remind us that political leadership should come with requisite knowledge, motivational force, managerial ability, flexibility, acuity, resource mobilisation capacity and forthrightness. We are responsible for our own destiny and we will continue to wallow in poverty and underdevelopment if nothing is done to eradicate the mediocrity in our politics.

As we head towards the elections in 2021, our people have a responsibility to take political leaders to task and demand better performance from them at all times. The status quo as far as the quality of politics in the country is concerned should not continue if we are to harbour any hope for development as a nation.

Unemployment levels still remain very high, over 80 per cent, and most of our young people continue to walk the streets without any opportunity for jobs. The country’s education and health sectors are saddled with numerous problems, ranging from the quality of service provided to poor remuneration of workers.

Strikes are perennial because this is the only way workers can get some little benefit from this system. And one cannot help but wonder why the government has left our people at the mercy of the so-called investors who have no regard for our labour laws.

Many of our fellow citizens still suffer and die from preventable diseases like cholera; even some diseases that we had wiped out are re-appearing. And here comes the Coronavirus, as if various pandemics we have had are not enough. There is no future development without healthy and educated people. One cannot claim to uphold the sanctity of life if there is no provision for minimal healthcare for all. Life is sacred, a gift from God to be valued from the moment of conception until death.

In all these challenges, we don’t see a level of dedication from our government to save the people. If they are not engaging one another on trivial issues, our politicians are serving themselves through bogus government contracts and tenders. In the midst of all these problems and challenges, our political leaders have embraced corruption, destroying the social structures of our country.

All well-meaning Zambians must come together and demand better. We have a mission to promote transparency, accountability and honesty in society. Corruption is robbing our nation of its scarce resources. Those who pay bribes, those who protect and defend the corrupt must be uprooted from public office. They don’t mean well.

How did we arrive at a country where the government is in the forefront attacking law enforcement institutions? State Counsel Mwenye is absolutely right with his observation, and such a leader must never be trusted with public office because he is there to serve thieves and not the poor who elected him into office.