FOR so many Zambians, it feels like a second independence. The mood in the country is that of cheer and celebration. Citizens can now talk freely and exercise the liberties that they long parted with. It’s like a heavy load has been lifted off their shoulders, and now they feel liberated.
But this feeling is not for every Zambian. There are some citizens who had been working very closely with the Patriotic Front government, getting government tenders through corruption; there are some former ministers who facilitated this corruption and were not afraid to abuse the law for selfish interests and personal gain. There are also those private individuals who tried to manipulate the will of the people by attempting to alter the outcome of the August 12 general elections. All these people are having a nightmare, they were so sure that their efforts to rig were going to work. Zambia, to these people, is not the most comfortable place to be right now.
We feel sorry for the ex-ministers who arrogantly disregarded our warning ahead of the elections. We told them, while they were making those hefty donations, that a time was going to come for them to account. So far, almost 50 per cent of former PF cabinet ministers have been defeated in their respective constituencies. Some have actually lost to little known independent candidates. This defeat has also covered some most outspoken PF functionaries whose main preoccupation in Parliament was to defend every illegality and government scandal.
When they campaigned, they told us that there was no Zambian who would vote against them because they had delivered development beyond expectation. But the people in their own constituencies have spoken. The people who put them in power back in 2016 have refused to renew their contracts. What does this tell us? It simply means these former ministers and talkative MPs never had real conversations with the people on the ground.
It has now been made clear that the defeated former ministers and MPs took the people for granted. It appears that they truly believed that you can buy anything with money. This is why they spoke with a lot of arrogance and pomposity. This is why they insisted that their election victory had been secured even before the people had casted their votes. They thought that when they made the huge cash donations, the people would forget about their sufferings. But the people have shown them where power truly belongs.
And talking about the huge cash donations, the clock is ticking and soon it will be time to account. If they claim that they had successful businesses which were producing those donations, they will have to show the tax returns on those lucrative businesses. We will produce a record of how much these ministers donated and that record will have to be pitted against their income. We will write a list of the properties that they own and compare that with their salaries and taxable incomes. Those who will fail to justify their wealth are criminals and will have to be prosecuted.
Those looters who are celebrating the message of forgiveness from President-elect Hakainde Hichilema are wasting their time. Criminal offences are against the people, not an individual. When you murder someone, the offence you commit is not against the bereaved family but the state, the people. The clever thieves must consider handing themselves over to the investigative wings and surrendering what they stole so that they can earn some leniency. The people of Zambia will not forgive a person who does not confess what they did wrong.
We warned these ministers that the government is not there to enrich politicians. We told them that there are consequences when you abuse public office and public resources. We have warned before that when you are a minister, it does not mean that the country’s resources belong to you. When your father is the President it does not mean that you can take everything you want from the State. The huge donations they were making will now haunt them. The criminals in PF who have failed to make it back in Parliament are about to witness what happens when power shifts.
Political power is temporary. A President can lose elections, and we have seen this happen more than once in Zambia. The moment a President leaves office, there is realignment of power. The forces converge and there is a new order, whether you like it or not. Those who were stealing, thinking that they are protected because they are very close to President Edgar Lungu, must open their eyes today and face the brutal reality before them. The Lungu whose name they were using to steal, now has his own music to dance to. Even he has to explain how he amassed millions of dollars, when he had nothing before assuming office.
The criminals in PF must now tune in to ‘Netflix Zambia’ and watch how the same judiciary they were abusing; the same police they were giving orders, will now unleash a thriller on them. It’s karma time!