Is State House the new hub for anti-corruption investigations?

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Kakubo

By Misheck Kakonde

The revelation of a cash deal, magnified by the summoning of the minister by the president, casts an unyielding light on a prevailing issue, the deficiency in robust anti-corruption measures and the conspicuous absence of genuine accountability. While it is good to get the part of the information from the offender, President Hakainde Hichilema would have done well to invite Kakubo for coffee at state house after the investigation teams finalize their investigations.

The problem stems from powerful individuals escaping justice due to political influence. Even if the president acts, it might seem more symbolic than a true commitment to upholding the law. Moreover, when inquiries and actions against corrupt individuals are tainted by political sway or undue influence, the sanctity of the entire process is compromised. Although the president’s summoning of the minister might seem like a step towards rectification, it teeters perilously close to a token gesture rather than an earnest commitment to upholding the sanctity of the rule of law.

Real change comes when anti-corruption agencies work independently, empowered to investigate, and prosecute regardless of someone’s status. We must break the culture of impunity that lets the powerful escape consequences, ensuring even top officials face accountability. Surely, why should the president be the one summoning the minister, this highlights a lack of effective anti-corruption body or measures and real accountability.
Solving this demands a strong legal system, transparent governance, and an active society demanding change on how institutions run such as the current Anti- corruption that is full of retrospective watchdogs or post-tenure investigators. Concerning some civil societies, it is wishful thinking to demand their voices, as most of them were silenced with jobs, they cannot speak while eating. Therefore, asking for their voices is like throwing punches in the air.

Only by committing together to uphold the rule of law can we ensure officials serve the people, not their own interests. It is time for a shift towards ethical governance, where trust in our democracy is paramount as compared to allegiance to political parties and individuals, instead of the state and the state institutions.
Furthermore, the permissive atmosphere fostering a culture of impunity surrounding corrupt practices must be dismantled brick by brick. When the elite perceive a cloak of immunity shielding them from the consequences of their malfeasance, it perpetuates an unrelenting cycle of wrongdoing. The resolute prosecution and accountability of even the loftiest echelons of power reverberate as a clarion call that corruption shall find no sanctuary within the corridors of Zambian governance system.

Lastly, investigating and potentially prosecuting both the Chinese company and the minister of foreign affairs Stanley Kakubo’s company is necessary for justice. Moreover, why even summon the minister to state house, if he already gave his position in most newspapers in 2022 where he said “Good day to you all. We have noted a malicious post making rounds on social media….”. That is the position on the sinoma cement scandal by Kakubo.

If found guilty, they must face the consequences of their actions. Fair and impartial investigation and prosecution uphold the principle of justice, irrespective of the affiliations or origins of the involved parties.

The author Misheck Kakonde is a legal scholar, comparative politics specialist email: misheckkakonde@gmail.com

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