Has Zambia become a Banana republic under Sata?

By Correspondent

President Michael Sata and the Patriotic Front have become a government characterized by greed and corruption and by the end of their first term in office, the national treasury will have been completely looted.

It will be tragic for Zambia to become a banana republic where those in power chiefly seek their opulent status and personal gain at the expense of the majority who are the governed poor.

Corruption insidiously destroys not only the country’s public finance but it also destroys faith in the political system and the sooner President Michael Sata purges all suspected corrupt ministers and other influential government employees, he risks facing the wrath of the people once he is out of State House.

Minister of Defence Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba populary known as GBM and Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba have through their supporters openly exposed each other of participating in grand corruption in there greedy desire to win government tenders.

The corruption allegations the two ministers have leveled against each other are rooted in the battle of political supremacy, as Mr Mwamba and Mr Kabimba are rubbing their hands with glee in their political boxing ring as they scheme to replace Mr Sata.

Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has not hidden his presidential ambitions and this must have startled some individuals in the PF and that is probably the reason the state had allowed the publication of a story in the Post newspaper in which the Defence Minister has been accused of soliciting a contract at Zesco.

Politics is said to be a media game and faction in the PF in collusion with the Post newspaper have effectively used the media, except that this time, Mr Mwamba is their latest victim as a sustained campaigned has been mounted for him to step down for allegedly soliciting a contract from the power utility company.

The scheme from inside the PF government through Fred M’membe is that Mr Mwamba must be knocked out of the PF presidential race so that Mr Kabimba whose presidential ambitions have remained subtle but favoured by his clique in the party can have a smooth run to the throne.

Mr Kabimba is an enemy of many in the ruling party who feel that he is not presidential material and that he cannot win any election, he is an enemy of the opposition political party members who believe his leadership qualities are erratic as well as the civil society but President Sata seem to be determined to leave the party in his hands.

The puzzle, however is why the succession battle has erupted as early as now (within a year of Mr Sata becoming President) when the Head of State has not even completed a quarter of his term in office.

But the grapevine says Mr Sata has caused a split in the party by making Mr Kabimba the most powerful and that his health is equally causing a lot of panic and that is why the President has not attempted to stop the political skirmishes in his party neither has he ever commented on the matter.

Mr Kabimba is appreciating the support he is getting from President Sata and Mr M’membe with his Post newspaper and the Justice Minister who also doubles as the secretary general of the PF will permanently remain politically beholden to the two men.

The political shadow boxing between Mr Mwamba and Mr Kabimba is now over shadowing the major developmental issues of unemployment, health care, decent wages and more money in citizen’s pockets and these have seen the popularity fortunes of the PF being blown away from the ruling party like a desert sand-storm.

If President Sata has any iota of fighting corruption and not just singing about it, this is the time that the corruption fight in the PF government should be taken to the highest echelon where Mr Mwamba and Mr Kabimba must seriously be investigated.

There must be no holy cows in the war against graft and President Sata has an opportunity to prove to his critics that he is indeed allergic to corruption and that he is governing the country using the Ten Commandments.

Of course the plutocratic Mwamba and Kabimba might see no problem in abusing their influence to amass wealth and claim that there’s no law against government ministers to wantonly abuse their authority to get contracts from government institutions.

With the current revelations that Mr Mwamba attempted to coerce Zesco to award him a contract and that Mr Kabimba through his Midlands Energy Zambia Limited, a company that was formed just a few months after PF formed government, political maneuvers by President Sata to let these two off the hook must not be tolerated.

Immediate past president Rupiah Banda’s children Henry and Andrew are being perused and persecuted for allegedly using their father’s influence to do business with government and yet Mr Mwamba’s family is doing the same and the Defence Minister and his boss President Sata do not see anything wrong with it.

Mr Mwamba has as a matter of fact spoken volumes when he said he will at an appropriate time come out and expose those who he believes are corrupt and are dubiously getting government deals.

Mr Mwamba must be talking from a well informed point of view being a senior cabinet minister and his assertions must be taken with the seriousness they deserve.

Cosmetic investigations by all the investigation wings will not help fight corruption and the civil society must begin calling for the resignation of the two ministers because they have implicated each other in shady deals.

So far the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has announced that it has commenced preliminary investigations into the Mwamba alleged corruption saga at Zesco and has remained quiet on Mr Kabimba and his Midlands Energy Zambia Limited.

At the rate things are going, it is most likely that embezzlement, fraud, bribery and corruption shall become the order of the day as those in government are solely striving to build their political and financial empires using public money.

And if President Sata is going to fail to fire the two ministers so that they can be investigated, then his fight against corruption is anything but.

Since the new government was formed, there has been a political conspiracy to harangue former MMD leaders under the guise of the fight against corruption.

The United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema has been verbally abused by Mr Sata with accusations that he is a corrupt man and the state has gone even to the extent of publishing his personal accounts just to fracture his political career.

President Sata has been proclaiming justice and as recent as Friday this week, the Head of State was talking about justice for the poor and marginalized when swore in Joseph Akafumba as the third Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice.

But justice must not only target perceived state’s enemies who are often the opposition political party leaders but even those who are currently in charge of state authority such as Mr Mwamba and Mr Kabimba.

The mantra for President Sata on the fight against corruption must be: The test of the rule of law is best measured when it is applied to powerful boys in his government like Mr Kabimba and Mwamba.

 

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