Tag: vengeance

A response to Hichilema’s corrupt corruption fight response

A response to Hichilema’s corrupt corruption fight response Featured

Mr Hakainde Hichilema appears agitated by our insistence that his UPND government is a looting machine and is rotten with corruption to the core.

Yesterday, Minister of Information and Media and Chief Government Spokesperson, Ms Chushi Kasanda accused us of making false narratives and unsubstantiated claims about Mr Hichilema’s fight against corruption, which we still insist is driven by hypocrisy and vengeance.

Ms Kasanda further said our observations were without merit and lacked any substantive evidence claiming that this government’s commitment to fighting corruption was not mere rhetoric.

We have taken note of Mr Hichilema’s response through Ms Kasanda and we would want to make it clear to him that we are neither concocting any intrigues nor maliciously attacking anyone but merely stating facts as they are. It requires little intelligence – if a little is all one has – to figure out what is going on. That is why we are fully aware of what is happening in this government and can confidently state that under Mr.Hichilema’s leadership, corruption in Zambia has not gone away, it has simply migrated to new players.

In fact, we can categorically state that this is a government full of shifty and money- grabbing individuals whose primary aim is plundering or immoral accumulation of wealth. These are shameless liars who are busy misleading our people that they are restructuring the economy yet all they are doing is to reconfigure business and our politics to suit their crude thieving methods.

The truth is there is no genuine fight against corruption under Mr Hichilema and all that is happening is just deception. But what they don’t know is that to fight corruption or indeed any other vices in government, it requires a great sense of values, integrity and a genuine desire and patriotism for a more humane, fair, just and stable nation. And Mr Hichilema’s government does not represent any of this.

For Mr Hichilema, the purported fight against corruption is but another drop of incense on the altar of political expedience. It seems to be a fight that is more structured to puncture holes in the political fortunes of those he doesn’t like. It is an idea driven by blatant hypocrisy and excessive vengeance. Zambians must know that if this crusade was genuine, it would have been pursued with a strict adherence to the rule of law and the fundamental rights of those accused and not this poorly choreographed performance we are witnessing.

Further, a genuine crusade against corruption has nothing to do with fixing those you want to politically obliterate. It ought to be anchored on a solid abhorrence for the vice and its attendant consequences. What we see is a smoke screen! And since we have been challenged to base our criticism on facts we shall argue our case with specifics.

  1. On corruption in Zambia, the recent US Report stated as follows:
  • There were numerous reports of government corruption.
  • The law also provides for declaration of assets by members of parliament and ministers when entering and leaving public office, but there is no subsidiary legislation providing for sanctions for breach or for failure to declare assets. There is no verification system, and asset data were not available to the public.
  • Other senior public officials, including permanent secretaries, heads of state-owned enterprises, and officials involved in public procurement are not required to declare. Although some institutions have institutionalised mechanisms for asset declaration, no one has ever been sanctioned for failure to declare, TIZ reported.
  • Although the government collaborated with the international community and civil society organisations to improve capacity to investigate and prevent corruption, anticorruption NGOs observed the enforcement rate was low among senior government officials and civil service, and there was concern that the corruption fight was focused primarily on corrupt practices of the previous administration.
  • There were also reports of corruption in the sitting administration. For example, there were allegations of corruption in fertilizer procurement by the Ministry of Agriculture, the procurement of 75 motor bikes by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services at a total cost of 9,885,010 New Kwacha ($588,000), and the issuance of mining licenses by the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development involving the sitting administration, TIZ reported.
  • In July President Hichilema fired the Ministry of Health’s Permanent Secretary George Magwende, ostensibly over a corrupt tender involving the construction of seven prefabricated COVID-19 isolation hospitals in Lusaka worth nearly $100 million, which was signed by the previous administration in 2020 but never executed. According to media, officials of the Attorney General’s Office and the Treasury had signed off on the legality and financial feasibility of the tender.
  1. The dismissal of Luapula Province minister Derricky Chilundika and his subsequent arrest is but an insignificant scapegoat because there are other key leaders of this government – big dealers- involved in the illicit mineral dealings, especially gold. They are doing it with impunity. Why is Mr Hichilema silent on illegal gold dealings in the country?
  2. We have real corruption in fertilizer procurement. A company styled as Alpha Commodities is increasingly stamping its authority as the ‘alpha and omega’ of fertilizer procurement in this country. Not so long ago, questions were raised about how this company bullied its way to a contract to supply fertilizer at highly inflated prices – single sourced and authorised by Mr Hichilema himself. This is the company under the control and ownership of the husband to Ms Kasanda, the Minister of Information and Media, who is also the Mr Hichilema’s close associate. Again nothing will happen.
  3. An audit report that discloses the grand corruption that attended the fertilizer procurement in the recent past has been frustrated and swept under the carpet. Is this how you fight corruption?
  4. Despite public demands from the chairman of the Anti Corruption Commission, Mr Hichilema has refused to publicly make declaration of his assets and liabilities. Why? What is he hiding? Is this the attitude of people who are determined to uphold the highest ethical standards as Ms Kasanda claims? Mr Hichilema’s snub to declare his assets as provided by the law and demanded by decency and transparency, justifies the concerns raised in the report by their friends in the US Department of State – on the mischief surrounding asset declaration and how some leaders in this government, including Mr Hichilema, who is the principal culprit are getting away with trying to evade the corruption radar.
  5. There is serious uncertainty and turbulence in the petroleum sector owing to what is currently obtaining at the Tazama – Ndola Fuel Terminal. Can this government tell the nation how the deal to clean the TAZAMA Pipeline was awarded to Agro Fuel Limited? Also, can this government tell the nation how Agro Fuel Limited was extended another deal to manage the TAZAMA – Ndola Fuel Terminal? Can this government tell the nation who owns Agro Fuel Limited and whom they are closely associated with in this government, if any?

There are loads and loads of suspicious and dirty deals currently taking place in Mr Hichilema’s government but for now, we shall stick to the issues raised above and wait for the government’s response before taking the corruption discourse to the next level. Like we said, we are not afraid to call out this government’s dirty and corrupt schemes because we speak from our vast experience in investigating, detecting and exposing corruption. And it’s this same experience that has sharpened our ability to articulate these issues and to collect and collate as well as corroborate evidence of complex plunder matrixes.

Again, we repeat our message to the Zambian people that they should not be under any illusion that they have a decent leadership in place. The people they elected as leaders are nothing but vengeful hypocrites who operate under a system of rule that is anchored in the ‘It’s Our Turn to Eat’ principle. Accountability, transparency and human rights does not matter to Mr Hichilema and his government. But as the Yoruba proverb goes “everyday is for the thief, one day is for the owner”. Zambians are not fools, they can see through it all and they are waiting to see where this corrupt corruption fight of Mr Hichilema is heading.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

No place for vengeance

No place for vengeance Featured

Several times, I have been asked if I will avenge the injustice meted on me by some individuals in this regime. My response has been a categorical No. But the question keeps on coming up. Why? Is there fear of vengeance? From who against who? And for what? To achieve what?

Let me make it very, very, very clear: there’s no place for injustice in the mind of a revolutionary, no place at all. There’s no place for vengeance in the heart of a revolutionary. You can be very firm in the struggle, but you can’t do it out of hatred.
We are teaching our members ideas of justice; otherwise, our struggle for a more just, fair and humane Zambia is going nowhere. It is only upon such ideas that a more just, fair and humane society can be achieved and sustained. This can only be achieved based on principles, ideas and ethics. It’s the only way.
We believe in people, in human beings, in their capacity to forge ethics, a consciousness, in their capacity for great sacrifices.
In the course of history, we have seen people die for honour, for values they can understand. Someone instilled them with these values. Let the best human values of justice, fairness and humane ness be instilled in our people.
And our intellectuals can play a very important role in this today, because only people with a certain intellectual development can instill fear in heads of those who conspire and work against justice, fairness and humane ness.
We are convinced that a fascist-like regime will never be established, in any lasting fashion, in our country because our people have traditions, ethics and values that will prevent this. That is why those who want to impose a tinpot dictator and a third term on our people have to resort to lies.

We consider ourselves fortunate for having understood that hatred and prejudice are not political weapons. We have political weapons and, in addition to this, experience has taught us that principles are the best possible political weapons.

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party

Denounce SA xenophobic attacks without preaching vengeance, says Socialist Party

Denounce SA xenophobic attacks without preaching vengeance, says Socialist Party

Press briefing of the Socialist Party on the xenophobia in South Africa and attacks on assets and businesses belonging to South African companies

By Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of Socialist Party

Garden Compound, Lusaka

The barbarism going on in South Africa must be condemned in the strongest terms and those responsible brought to book immediately. But it cannot be answered with barbarism, with criminal acts of destroying assets, businesses belonging to South African companies.

We all have every right to be angered by the xenophobic attacks on fellow Africans being carried out by ignorant and criminal elements in that country.

But the distressing xenophobic attacks we are seeing in South Africa should not turn us into animals.

We therefore urge all our leaders, political or otherwise, to avoid inflammatory statements that can easily encourage weak souls to resort to criminal acts against South Africans, their assets and businesses in this country.

The challenges of unemployment, poverty, hunger, ignorance and disease facing our people on this continent cannot be solved through violence, counter violence or vengeance. There’s no sense to revenge. On whom are you taking revenge? History? The apartheid society that engendered these monsters? What are you avenging?

It is possible to denounce xenophobia without preaching hatred, vengeance.

We who are revolutionaries, socialists, Christians don’t preach hatred, vengeance.

What we preach is the repudiation, rejection, and hatred of xenophobia and the system that breeds it, that is neoliberal capitalism.

We cannot be preaching hatred among human beings, because in the final analysis human beings are victims of the system.

Anyone who engages in criminal acts in the name of avenging the xenophobic attacks going on in South Africa should be arrested and prosecuted as an outright criminal.

Situations like these call for cool headedness, sober mindedness and not recklessness. They call for strong and clear leadership in all the affected countries, for a strong application of law and order.