HH, corruption and capitalism: our hypocritical hope of a real fight against corruption is fading fast

By Azwell Banda

More than six months after the August 2021 elections, there is no real progress in the fight against corruption.

It is very hard to continue to sustain the belief that the police and investigating agencies are busy at work unearthing evidence which can stand in a court of law. Rather too soon, the PF leaders suspected of having stolen and corruptly enriched themselves are fast finding their voices, and starting to openly fight back. Now they are even talking about getting back into government before 2026!

The PF are mocking HH to stop begging thieves and corrupt people to return stollen and corruptly acquired wealth. The PF are right; we all want the police, DEC and the ACC to find the evidence, arrest, charge, prosecute and let the courts convict the suspected criminals for the crimes the majority of Zambians are certain many PF leaders have committed. We are every day fed stories by the media of PF leaders being invited to report to the ACC, DEC and the police; and all sorts of things then follow these invitations, but no real progress in the anticipated persecutions and convictions of PF suspects. It is fast becoming hard to avoid the impression that in fact the PF leaders are largely being persecuted.

The PF leaders, ever the crafty noise makers, are making a mockery of the actions of the police, DEC and ACC. Why shouldn’t they, especially as the searches at the homes of PF leaders and call outs by the police, DEC and ACC have not yielded anything worthy singing home about, yet?

The confidence and arrogance of the PF as a result of government hypocritical efforts to bring to book suspected PF criminals has made the acting president of the PF publicly announce that the PF have their people, which is true, deeply imbedded in government who are reporting to them about the goings on in government. Why should such PF informers not be in the police, DEC, ACC, judiciary, and all government departments, and in all provinces and districts? HH has replaced heads of government departments and agencies but done nothing to transform and overhaul the layers beneath these heads, in which corruption and stealing actually happens.

What exactly is happening? Not finding and catching the big thieves and the corrupt has dire consequences for HH and the UPND. Zambians are fast being fed stories of corruption taking place in the UPND government – add this to the fast-rising cost of living and doing business – soon there will be no difference between the PF and the UPND, apart from the cosmetic improvements in the political climate in the country.

Here is our problem; when we overthrew Kenneth David Kaunda in 1991, the MMD and Fredrick Chiluba opted for a vicious and backward reversion of Zambia to a “neo-liberal capitalist state” tutored to, and controlled by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and Western European donors. We never respected, let alone recognise the fact that the IMF, World Bank and Western donors were also interested in wiping out all trace of political and economic independence the Kaunda era had created and built for Zambia. And so, we passively watched as Chiluba dismantled the state-owned businesses and collapsed government into a thoroughly corrupt tender issuing organisation.

Within no time, employment collapsed dangerously in Zambia. Mass poverty hitherto unheard of exploded. Many workers overnight found themselves out of work, and had to confront the poverty and hunger in their homes.

Amidst this Tsunami of poverty and hunger and a job bloodbath, a connected and tiny Zambian elite, among whom HH belongs, became fabulously rich by, shall we politely say, ‘participating’ in privatising previously government owned businesses. This group became the darlings of the US, West European countries and of course the IMF and World Bank. Today, it is these US and Western European oriented ‘Zambian Oligarchies’ who are running government.

Survival of the fittest suddenly became the order of the day in Zambia. The values of solidarity and community which Kaunda flirted with through his incoherent ideology of “Humanism” were thrown out the window and in flew pure lying, ruthless completion, private greed, stealing, corruption, and making profits as the sole purpose of life. Everything needed to become a “profitable business” or it would die. Our trade unions collapsed under the combined weight of political interference and massive loss of membership, as businesses previously owned by the state were privatised and retrenched workers, or went under.

You have obviously heard it said that “money is the root of all evil”.

Let me correct this: it is money in a system powered by lying, corruption, stealing, competition, private greed, commodities and profits – capitalism – that is the root of all evil. It is not money, but capitalism, which is the root of all evil. Money on its own is just a means for measuring, storing and exchanging value. Under capitalism, money becomes an end in itself, something to use, buy, sell and accumulate; then it becomes evil, it becomes “capital”, hence the name of the system in which “capital” is supreme is called “capitalism”!

Money in a system powered by love, human solidarity, social and economic equality, genuine freedom and full democracy is merely a measure of value, means of exchange and a storage of value. Of itself, it is useless. In such a system, people are not controlled and ruled by money!

We live in a country in which post 1991, money has become more important to many people than God, whom they hope to deal with only after death! It is not important how one gets it, as long as one is not caught, get it we must, by all means necessary. This is another meaning of the word “capitalism”.

It is in these circumstances that to survive, the majority of Zambians must lie, steal, bribe someone or accept bribes, or even, in extreme cases, kill others to take over their wealth. This is the first reason HH and the UPND are jokers when they talk about fighting corruption without simultaneously uprooting its roots: capitalism.

We hypocritically think that Zambian politicians are the most corrupt individuals. The truth is the majority of us would not survive without hustling including by lying, stealing and accepting or giving bribes, to get what we want. Lying, stealing and corruption in Zambia are not just individual weaknesses and problems; they are a necessary mass tool kit for survival.

Politicians, being in the public domain, are the most visible liars, thieves and corrupt people. All of them when in opposition lie and promise to sort out thieves and corrupt people. When in government, their fear of poverty and appetite for money makes them bigger liars, more corrupt and cause them to steal big! This is the second reason HH is playing with us, on the fight against corruption.

HH is a businessman whose assets and liability declaration has not been made public. Why? How sincere is such a man in the fight against corruption and stealing public funds if he does not reveal to all Zambians what he owns and owes, and exactly how all this has happened, so that we may all cheer him on as he runs the government for all Zambians rather than largely for himself?

Is HH afraid we may arrest him and also charge him with possession of property believed to be corruptly or fraudulently obtained? All rich people hide the truth about how they become rich, because, believe me, it is impossible to be rich and enter the Kingdom of God!

HH is a capitalist, he can only largely use the fight against corruption and stealing public funds to weaken his political opponents. He cannot lead, let alone win, the fight to eliminate the very means by which private wealth is acquired: lying, stealing and corruption, in capitalism.

It is time to stop lying, stealing and being corrupt, all of us, if we want our country to be free from poverty.

Send comments and or only genuine good insults to


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here