Our government needs dipping because it is infested with so many parasites sucking its blood.
There are all sorts of characters masquerading as businessmen when they are in fact nothing but parasites sucking the blood of our state, stealing from the government in all sorts of ways.
It is very important to understand these things and what is going on. It is also important to understand why people are behaving the way they are behaving.
In today’s ever-changing world, the process of forming one’s conscience and taking a stand on issues of concern requires a clear understanding of our social context and the integration of authentic values into the choices that we make to address issues and challenges arising from the social context.
The values and principles which inform our choices in any given situation should include respect for human dignity, promotion of the common good, practice of subsidiarity, defence of human rights, and so on and so forth.
And identifying the core issue or problem is important because it helps us make a distinction between symptoms and root causes.
Addressing issues of concern demands patience, focus and a firm commitment to authentic values, so that our chosen actions may lead to change and transform society in conformity with the values and principles needed for the establishment of a more just, fair and humane society.
At the heart of the political battles going on in our country today, and especially in the ruling Patriotic Front, is the issue of access to and control of government business.
There are many people in this country today who do nothing but chase government business, tenders, contracts every day. We also have people in government who are making a lot of money from peddling influence, selling government policy.
What we have in this country is not entrepreneurship but tenderpreneurship, as the South Africans call it. Public resources are being mismanaged, misappropriated, misapplied, misdirected, misused in all sorts of ways. It’s all about government tenders, contracts and other business. It’s all about how to access government money and appropriate it for themselves. It is all about sale of government policy and business. And here, there is a network of well-connected people who share government business, government money. But to be connected, you have to start by being close and being of value to those who are in a position to influence or direct government decisions, policy. You have to be in a position to give them something of value, financially, politically or otherwise. Today, it means one being close to the corrupt and tribalistic clique that is seeking hegemony over the ruling Patriotic Front and its government, the group that is moving things. If you want a government contract, these are the people to see or talk to; these are the people to be in good terms with. If you are in good terms with them or if you are, in any way, of value to them, they may even invite you to seek certain government business.
It is difficult for anyone to get any government business if one is not in good terms with them, if one is not part of them. You don’t need to join the Patriotic Front to be part of them, to get their favours. All that is needed of you is a positive attitude towards them and be open to corruption. You may sometimes need to give back to them a bit of what you get from government contracts or business. Sometimes, things may be easier for you if you give them or their children some stake in your businesses. There are people who have given part of the ownership of their entities to family members of these characters just to win government tenders. And there are companies that have given supply or dealership contracts to these characters or their family members for them to get favourable government policies and deals. It is also this same clique that is in charge of the state-owned enterprises. They have appointed their relatives, friends and associates to the boards and management of these entities. As a result of this, they are in a position to control the flow of business from these state-owned enterprises in their favour.
They are making a lot of money from their control of state business and institutions. But to maintain their grip on all this business and on all these institutions, political power is needed. This pushes them into trying to dictate the direction of national politics, and especially the politics of the ruling party.
Using the money they have sucked from the state and the favours they are able to extend to weak souls, they corrupt the politics of our country and they start to dictate the flow of decisions in the ruling party and its government. Anyone who stands in their way is fought and has to go. In the end, they get a political environment that enables them to be parasitic on the state and suck government resources for their own benefit.
In this way, they corrupt not only the politics of the ruling party but also those of the opposition. Even right now, there are opposition elements who support them because they give them money and they extend all sorts of favours to them, including government business. There are many opposition elements living off them. For these reasons, you will not hear opposition elements attack them. They are seen to be very accommodating to opposition elements and boast of being popular with all when they are nothing but corrupt elements that are buying off opposition.
Instead, the wrath of the opposition is put on honest and incorruptible leaders of the ruling party who do not give them anything or are not in the position to extend any favours to them. This is how contaminated our political environment has become. This is how corruption is taking root and directing the affairs of our country.
And because of this, they will do anything possible to keep that power to themselves and continue to enjoy public business and resources.
This is certainly not the type of political leadership the Zambian people deserve, given the magnitude of their problems and challenges. What the Zambian people need is authority that is exercised legitimately. And authority is exercised legitimately if it is committed to the common good of society. Leaders should work for the welfare of all the people and not just to enrich themselves, their families and friends. Their focus should not be simply on entrenching themselves in power. Let those who rule do so with care (Romans 12:8).
We are aware that politics is an area of great importance for promoting justice, peace, development and community among all. And if our politics are left in the control of such elements, what will be the future of our people?
An authority, an honest authority, is needed to guide the energies of all towards the common good. And it is clear that there is a great danger that government policies, if not combined with clear social concern, will bring socio-economic deprivation. The government is the instrument by which people co-operate together in order to achieve the common good. Therefore, politics and governance need people with high credibility, with an incorruptible spirit and not vampires sucking the blood of the sufferer.