Corruption is indeed very endemic in Zambian society, but we are not doing justice to it by merely trying to limit it to individuals; talking about: ‘this one is a non-corrupt individual, the other one is more corrupt’. I think we have to look at the entire system. If you look at the system of capitalism and look at its basic values, and those basic values are individualism, greed, and aspects of unbridled competition and consumerism. Those values are more prone towards ensuring that our society remains corrupt. You cannot handle corruption effectively under this system.
What we are trying to do on an everyday basis is to look at what is called the high level corruption. It is justified because it’s more visible and its impact is very, very serious for our society. But at the same time we should acknowledge that if the top leadership is corrupt there’s a great possibility that even the masses of our people are also corrupt. So, we live in a society that is corrupt from the top to bottom. And if we want to fight corruption, yes we can deal on the issue of policies, we can look at the issue of the strategies, we can look n the issue of changing the laws – providing certain incentives, providing education to the masses, but that in itself doesn’t help very much. What would help is to bring in new values in our politics, in the economy, basically in the entire society; and that’s where socialism comes in.
Socialism is based on the fundamental values of equity; it’s based on honesty, humility and solidarity. These are values that take away the aspect of corruption. A socialist society is not a corrupt society, a capitalist society is a highly corrupt society.