Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika says for many years thieves have been publicly displaying the proceeds of their crime while Zambians are silently watching.
This has created a sense of impunity that is difficult to match. Today we have Ronald Chitotela who is in court on nine corruption charges but is still cabinet minister. How is this impunity possible?
Our simple and only explanation is it’s because the Zambian people are indifferent to corruption.
Indifference, to us, is the epitome of all evil.
The corruption in Zambia is made possible by nothing but the sanction we give it. Corruption, like any other evil, requires the sanction of the victim.
We can evade this reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality. The hardest thing to explain is the glaring evidence which everybody had decided not to see. Today as Akashambatwa says, thieves are displaying their loot while we are watching, doing nothing about it. There’s total impunity. We are now even being ruled by thieves. And the President of our Republic can even tell his minions to steal but leave some seed – ubomba mwibala alila mwibala! Kuti mwaiba, but mwiiba ne mbuto!
In a very short period of being President, Edgar Lungu more than doubled his wealth far beyond his earned income. How was this possible? Corruption!
We no longer abhor corruption as a people. We have no problem with being ruled by thieves.
What is happening in Zambia today reminds us about what Ayn Rand wrote: “Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favours – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.”