Letter to police IG Martin Malama on corruption fight

Letter to police IG Martin Malama on corruption fight

ALFRED A. K. NDHLOVU

Plot No. 594, Gardenia Avenue, Avondale

Phones:             +260955032953                  +260974276180                  +260977749974      

E-mail address: [email protected]

LUSAKA.

 

December 30, 2011

 

Dr. Martin Malama

Inspector-General of Zambia Police

Zambia Police Headquarters

Independence Avenue

P. O. Box 50103

LUSAKA.

 

Dear Dr. Malama,

THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION SHOULD HAVE A NATIONAL CHARACTER AND PURPOSE- STOP HARRASSING FORMER MMD LEADERS

The change heralded by the tripartite elections results on September 20, 2011 was a deserved consequence of our democratic dispensation. Believers would say that it was the voice of God through His people and, therefore, all Zambians have a duty to respect and uphold the values of a new era.

My major concern in this letter is “the fight against corruption” which, I think, needs to wear, or be clothed in, a national character and, of course, shrouded in purpose.

The starting point of the fight against corruption is the assumption that “all Zambians are potential wrongdoers” and that any of them could also be a victim of wrongdoing at any time.

This is what makes it imperative for all citizens to be vigilant and guard themselves against wrongdoing.

Modern societies are governed through institutions such as Zambia Police which you are privileged to lead. It is these institutions which are entrusted and mandated to protect citizens against all forms of wrongdoing such as corruption and other vices. The test, however, is how do we fight the dreaded corruption?

Zambia has a record of nearly 50 years of nationhood and independence. It has even a longer future to exist and live as an independent nation.

This is the genesis of the call to cleanse the Zambian society for its citizens to prosper. Nobody likes poverty. Indeed nobody wants to live a miserable life. We all aspire to be prosperous.

The first change of government in this country happened in 1964 when the rich alien rulers handed over power to indigenous rulers who, by sheer circumstances, hailed from poor backgrounds.

The alien rulers surrendered power reluctantly and with a grudge. Dr. Kaunda and his colleagues lacked experience and the ability to define what they really wanted in terms of good governance.

Ideologies confused them since all available ideologies were strange, to say the least! Humanism was a replica of communism and socialism and Zambians could not use it to benefit the people.

Humanism was a fatal seed of poverty in this country. It also killed individual initiative and a sense of enterprise. Government was expected to do everything for the people. This arrangement made the people poor and government richer in relative terms.

The second change of guard occurred in late 1991 when the Kaunda Administration [1964- 1991] lost to the Chiluba Administration. That change was fundamental and radical in that the socio-economic ideology also changed. Humanism was abandoned.

Dr. Chiluba introduced capitalism openly. State enterprises, commonly called parastatals companies, were denationalized and privatized.

Let me first analyze the Kaunda legacy of building the Zambian economy. Dr. Kaunda and his colleagues preferred to run the affairs of this country on socialist lines which meant that there were many restrictions on property ownership.

Zambians could not own big companies. They were only allowed by law to haveTuntembas. Any business that exceeded a defined capital threshold was nationalized. Dr. Kaunda created several institutions which were checking who owned what and investigated the sources of money. Dr. Kaunda’s Special Investigations Team on the Economy and Trade [SITET] was very notorious in harassing people with property suspected or believed to have been acquired improperly or may be illegally. This appears to be the mentality which Zambia Police holds even today! Many Zambians did not like SITET because it did not give very enterprising Zambians hope for prosperity. That institution was an enemy of the people. You will also recall that Dr. Kaunda tailored a document called the Leadership Code which dictated that leaders should earn one salary and from one source only. This was a ridiculous assertion. A seed to breed poverty! The Leadership Code was a very notorious document because its purpose was not to promote prosperity but rather increase poverty. At the end of the day, it left behind a trail of shared poverty, laziness, petty jealousies and negative attitude to work. I am prompted to ask, why did Dr. Kaunda want Zambians to share poverty instead of sharing wealth and prosperity? The quick answer is that he was either selfish or he did not know what was good for Zambians, or indeed he had both constraints! It is an indisputable fact that human beings cannot be equal in terms of acquisition of wealth.

Let me state and argue that many former ministers and members of the UNIP Central Committee (MCC’s) during the Second Republic suffered a lot after leaving offices. Most of them even succumbed to early death because they could not fend for themselves. Government coffers were empty, the pension arrangements collapsed much earlier in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The former leaders in the UNIP administration simply became destitute, a very regrettable eventuality which civilized persons like you, me and others cannot condone nor tolerate. The big lesson for us, as Zambians, is that we should not have any Zambian suffer like that again in future, of course, beginning with those who have left offices in 2011. That is our challenge. I do not want former leaders, including Inspector-Generals of Zambia Police, to suffer like that in future.

The hallmark of the Chiluba Administration [1991-2001] was “liberalization” of the economy. The notorious Leadership Code was abolished, SITET was proscribed and privatization was instituted in order to drive out government from business. The funny question was, why should government be involved in selling charcoal (malasha) and caterpillars (vinkubala)? Privatization enhanced property rights and ownership of any property. The illusion that parastatal enterprises belonged to the people was discarded. The adage is, what you have is what you own and what you own is really yours alone. Zambians deserve to buy houses, clothes, food, motor vehicles, etc to prosper. Those who look good work hard. Those who own and drive good cars similarly work hard. This property rights and ownership galore is for all Zambians of goodwill who want to prosper and live a good and decent life. Success should not be confused with theft or impropriety. Do not quarrel with success, but do so with poverty. People must aspire to be successful.

Former leaders in the MMD Administration worked very hard, both for the country and themselves. They earned salaries, allowances, gratuities/pensions and other fringe benefits. Surely, how can they fail to buy bicycles for their constituents or campaigners? The cost of bicycles averages K500,000 apiece. Can building a posh motel, lodge or hotel be impossible in more than five years of one’s service even in the face of mortgages and other loan arrangements? I do not think so. If anything, we must encourage leaders to invest, invest and invest so that this country prospers. Leaders must be very free to invest as a strategy of fighting poverty. The MMD crop of leaders is the first to leave office under democratic conditions. It is wrong, therefore, for Zambia Police to start searching their houses, private offices, farms, etc. looking for (lost) items without any evidence that some people actually lost items which were reported to Zambia Police and that the same could be found at former MMD leaders premises.

Zambia Police call-outs are a very unacceptable inconvenience which must not be condoned by your command. Your officers actually abuse this practice as they swing into action to humiliate former leaders. Suffice to say that if you have a case against anybody, just meet such suspects in a court of law to seek justice instead of wasting time at Zambia Police offices building a case against a perceived suspect. Suggesting that perceived suspects “are helping Zambia Police with investigations” is now an outrageous and superfluous reason.

This problem was started by the late president Mwanawasa Administration [2002-2008] who mounted a campaign against a former president and other leaders on the pretext that he was fighting corruption. Strangely and luckily, Mr. Mwanawasa was sponsored by the MMD to become Republican president with late president Chiluba playing a bigger role for Mwanawasa to be elected. His strategy on fighting corruption was largely targeted at his predecessor. He was misled by a few sadists who believe that former leaders steal whilst in office! This scum of the Zambian society justifies its wrong-doing by claiming that corruption in this country is rife and that whatever a leader or former leader owns must have been stolen! Controlling officers in this country are permanent secretaries. They are the ones who know where government money comes from and where it goes. So far in Zambia recently, Dr. Kashiwa Bulaya and Dr. Simon Miti were found wanting as permanent secretaries and both were from the Ministry of Health! Is the argument of corruption being rife supported by evidence? I reserve my strong views against the British government which surrendered grudgingly in 1964. I also reserve my analysis of the use of the Zamtroop Bank Account which was initiated by former president, Dr. Kenneth D. Kaunda.

Just now, some people are saying and complaining that Apollo Enterprises Ltd of Chingola and Lusaka was “singly” awarded a contract to renovate State House. It is said and believed that this company is owned by the current minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda. It is also said that a tender was not floated for the company to compete with other equally competent companies for that job. Nobody appears to know whether the Apollo bid was the highest or lowest. The state of competence to do a good job was not scientifically determined. This is an observation which Zambia Police needs to investigate and thereafter tell the people of Zambia the truth even in the face of you sharing ethnicity with the Hon. Minister. “Single sourcing” is an fence to others and not when FAZ, for instance, engages a national football team coach by the same method.

Similar to the foregoing example is the fate of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission [CEEC] which has disbursed billions and billions of Kwacha annually to local investors most of whom are failing to repay even after building posh office blocks, residential flats, etc. which are generating money but fail to repay the loans because the companies have changed names and are questionably non-existent. Corruption at the CEEC is sickening because of tribalism. It is within your learned competence to deal with that live corruption which has derailed the funding system. Those who borrowed from CEEC must pay back or the head of the Commission and her managers should be taken to court to be tried, convicted and sent to prison for that wrong-doing.

Zambia Police must encourage people to complain about wrong-doing in all and every aspects. It is the complaint which is the basis of fruitful investigations. Suspecting a person to have stolen is not a strong basis per se to start harassing anybody let alone former leaders in this country. Look at all leaders from the MMD Administration in that light. In short, stop harassing them. We risk scaring good people from offering themselves to lead if this country does not protect former leaders.

You are a learned Inspector-General of Zambia Police at PhD level. Use your noble wisdom to discern the truth. I doubt whether the laws of this country have been framed in such a way that all leaders are immune from investigations and prosecution when they are still in office. This is a matter of surprise to me and other Zambians of goodwill because we think that contrary is the case. Only the Head of State, the Republican president, has immunity even after leaving office. It is my considered view that wrong-doing must be dealt with at any time, especially when one is still holding office. Once one leaves office one leaves everything behind. In fact, it is cheaper to investigate an office holder. As it is now you have created a perception that all former leaders were thieving instead of working. That must be corrected sooner rather than later. As Zambians, we need one another in more ways than one. We have a lot to share as compatriots instead of looking at one another with suspicion. It is wrong for anybody to think that those who leave office graciously should be poor. I insist to say that fighting corruption in the shadows of former leaders is inherently wrong. It shows clearly that Zambia does not have a fool-proof system to use to keep corruption in serious check and constantly under control. It also shows that leaders’ contributions are not appreciated.

The best way to fight corruption is to develop and design strong systems of financial control that quickly and immediately respond to the needs of the day. What government does must be checked on daily, weekly, monthly, half-yearly and annual basis. Fighting corruption in historical terms is not better than ordinary but unusual witch-hunting, fault-finding. It is actually harassment of the worst order which disturbs retreat and retirement from leadership. It also implies petty jealousies and vendetta driven by the desire to avenge. I am inclined to assert that, in fact, there are sadists on the fringes of our system who are driven by hate and ill-will when they scream “investigate them! Try them! Convict them! Imprison them! Hang them! Kill them!” Such human attitude is historical. Jesus, the begotten Son of God, experienced and suffered it all the way to Calvary. As leaders, we need to draw good and vital lessons from that history. It is wrong and unacceptable to allow leaders govern for five years with least blame and only to tell them after leaving office that they made gross errors!  One can ask “where is the system?” My view is that we must devote more attention, time and resources to check those who assume office. Corruption may always be with those in power today and our duty is to watch what they are doing now. They must answer queries of commission and omission when they are still in office so that when and after they vacate office, we shall forget about them. This is a very important point to note and use in conducting national affairs.

As already alluded to above, Dr. Kashiwa Bulaya and Dr. Simon Miti are two permanent secretaries whose corruption cases started when they were still in office. Both lost their jobs because of alleged and proven corruption. As referred to elsewhere in this letter, permanent secretaries are controllers of government resources at ministries, both incoming and outgoing money. They, therefore, deserve to take full responsibility when financial impropriety is suspected or detected. Political leaders in ministries are presumed outsiders in controlling money, which is a civil service job. Politicians’ job is to supervise the civil servants in order to ensure that political objectives are met in financing development programmes and projects.

Parliament recently ratified two names appointed to occupy the vacancies of Solicitor-General and Director of Public Prosecutions together instead of ratifying one at a time. That was a very strange, suspicious and corrupt way of ratifying appointments by the august House of Parliament. My plea is that that practice must not be repeated in future because it is rotten and undermines the dignity of the House. The normal way is to ratify names one by one. Each individual appointee has his or her own qualifications, merits, strengths, weaknesses, etc. to justify to be ratified alone. It is important to note that the two names were each embroiled in controversies which are already in the public domain and I need not belabor them again. Suffice to say that the wish of the appointing authority is to assemble a team that can ably carry out vengeful retribution to former MMD leaders who are being persecuted. Thanks to the “trainee” Hon. Mr. Speaker of Parliament who allowed himself to be used for cheap and short term political expediencies! The Attorney-General, Solicitor-General and Director of Public Prosecutions are all men of known tiffs previously. Suffice to say that human nature will dictate how they will handle former MMD leaders who are being harassed and for whom they have been hired. My role, as a patriotic Zambian, is to watch out carefully and if need be respond to the call of duty to see and ensure that justice is not lost. The moral weakness exhibited in this matter casts doubt on the PF government’s capacity to fight the scourge of corruption which survives on buying people.

The custodian of former president(s) is the current or incumbent president. That is how it should be in a democracy where former presidents are a rule rather than an exception. It is not ministers who must stand up and threaten former Heads of State to behave in the way s/he likes. The incumbent president looks after his predecessor(s) through Cabinet Office. There should be no fuss about ministers, including vice president, to talk about whether a former president is involved in “active politics” or not. In any case, it is implied that involvement in “passive politics” is permissible even legally. Even some former MMD leaders appear not to understand the position well enough. A former president of MMD and the Republic of Zambia retires from “active politics” soon after leaving the Republican presidency. “Active politics” means seeking to contest elections in order to occupy a political office. A former Republican president, whether from MMD, UNIP or now PF cannot do that. Giving political advice and perhaps assisting in campaigns is not “active politics” as such. It is “passive politics” which is permissible by law. My examples are former United States of America presidents Mr. Jimmy Carter [1976-1979] and Bill Clinton [1993-2001] who advise and campaign for the Democrats in the USA after leaving their respective offices. No sitting president, starting with the late Ronald Reagan to Mr. George W. Bush ever accused the two former presidents of being involved in “active politics” warranting reprimand. I believe and I am sure that the situation should be the same even in our beloved country today.

There is no need to be threatening former president Rupiah B. Banda who even said, in writing, that he would not go beyond 2016 even if he had won the election on September 20, 2011. That was a huge undertaking. Mr. Banda is now in “passive politics” waiting for the relinquishing of all political positions which he may hitherto be holding. Mr. Banda will certainly hand over the MMD presidency to an elected leader in the same way he handed over the Republican presidency to Mr. Michael C. Sata on September 23, 2011. Some Zambians should not create unnecessary hullabaloo about this. There is no thread of corruption in this matter. Mr. Banda is entitled to his terminal benefits in full measure even in the face of sadists suggesting otherwise. The law enacted before he became president is there to follow as a matter of right since he qualifies for them. He deserves to be treated as a former Head of State like Kaunda before him. All Zambians must not succumb to petty jealousies driven by hate and sadism as portrayed in some media houses which have exhibited pathological hate against him on tribal lines! Leaders must always be above and beyond such small things.

An Honourable Member of Parliament and then Provincial Minister of Lusaka Province explained PF government policy on tribalism on the floor of the House. His speech is on record in the Daily Parliamentary Debates just as much and good as his so called “unreserved apology” is also on record. The PF government policy on tribalism is difficult to stomach let alone tolerate especially when one reads the statistics used. I hasten to argue that no single tribe in this country could have successfully fought for freedom and independence. It was the totality of the struggle that made the colonial administration realize and succumb to the people’s demand of “freedom and independence now”! There were luminaries from every district and province who sacrificed and laid their lives on the chopping board for the sake of Zambia.

There is a group of tribalists in Lusaka and perhaps elsewhere who have been producing literature and maps showing tribal hegemony. I suspect that former Lusaka Provincial Minister could either be a member or a sympathizer of that club, if I may tentatively call it that name, because the tribal statistics which he used on the floor of the august House of Parliament are from that illegal source. I doubt whether the Central Office of Statistics compiles population numbers on tribal lines. In fact, there is no district or province which is inhabited by one tribe alone. A tribe can dominate, but never be alone. Even the popular phrase “there are 73 tribes in Zambia” is now ambiguous and precisely untrue. I was amazed that the “trainee” Hon. Speaker of Parliament did not curtail such an emotive speech. This makes me doubt his ethnic background and loyalty. Suffice to say that precise tribal populations are not known, but Zambians using local languages could be around 55% for languages like Nyanja, Bemba, Tonga, Lozi, etc. The seven local languages recognized by media houses are increasing in usage. Some like Namwanga, Lenje and others are coming up through Bible translations. Note that using a language does not make one a native of the tribe to which the language originates. For example, we use English, but we are not native English people! Counting users of a language is constructive, but counting tribes or natives serves no useful purpose at all. It just inflames negative emotions which sometimes lead to ethnic cleansing which Zambia can ill-afford.

President Sata issued a statement at State House to the Barotseland advocates who he invited to discuss the old matter. He told them not to be “confrontational because you are in a weaker position than me. I do not want to do what the previous government did to you.” Analysis of this statement led me to ask a question, “…did Kaunda and his colleagues have an army, air force, police and national service to fight for the freedom of this country?” Egypt, for instance, has the largest military in the Arab world which is led by field marshals. Why have the people paralyzed it? The former and late Libyan leader was personally very wealthy with a military background. Why did his regime fall and he was killed by his own “loving” people? The same can be asked about Yemen, Syria, etc. The Arab Spring is a people driven revolution which cannot be stopped by guns. Suffice to say that no military is trained to shoot and kill its own people. They are trained to defend and protect their own people. This is a matter of military ethics. Threats are not good. They often harden people’s resistance.

I had told former president Rupiah Banda that he should open dialogue with the people of Western Province vis-à-vis the Barotseland Agreement 1964. My assessment over the years was that they had a genuine political grievance. Barotseland was a separate protectorate which could have gained independence alone. The rules of amalgamation dictate that power should be equitably shared between entities forming the union. Barotseland surrendered its sovereignty for literally nothing in terms of power. No Lozi person has been president of the Republic of Zambia since 1964. The late Daniel Lisulo, Nalumino Mundia, and Gen. Malimba Masheke (Rtd.) were one time prime ministers, which were token appointments with real power in the hands of the then president, Dr. Kenneth D. Kaunda, who signed the agreement as prime minister of Northern Rhodesia. Dr. Kaunda is to blame more than anybody else to have created the problem.

Mr. Banda’s action on January 14, 2011was deeply regrettable and most unfortunate, but should not be used to build a case against him for retribution. It did not insinuate that Lozis were in a weaker position in comparison to their own government. On the contrary, they are as strong as Zambia can be.

Finally, I want to stress that my humble request is that all charges leveled against former MMD leaders should be dropped forthwith as they are inflaming strong emotions of hate, harassment and persecution. The PF was elected to form a government that will “put money in the people’s pockets” so that they can live decent lives. I have no doubt that the president can prevail over this matter. It is the president’s singular and onerous duty to build national unity which is essential in fostering development.

I have copied this letter to the Hon. Chief Justice because some of the allegations are before the courts of law. I have also copied it to the Hon. Mr. Speaker for him to see those matters referred to his office. The letter is also copied to H.E. the president in order to make it possible to reach a consensus to turn the next page of our history. It is not my intention to raise this matter to one office only. It is for all concerned. Let us put our heads together to amicably resolve or find a solution to what I have raised.

 

May God bless you by giving you wisdom in managing our national and public  affairs.

Your most sincere compatriot,

 

 

Alfred A. K. Ndhlovu

Former  Member of Parliament & Deputy Minister in the Chiluba Administration.

 

cc. (1) H.E. Mr. Michael C. Sata, President of the republic of Zambia, State House,LUSAKA

(2) Hon. Chief Justice Earnest Sakala, Supreme Court Buildings, Independence Avenue,LUSAKA.

(3) Hon.  Dr. Patrick Matibini, Speaker, Parliament Buildings, Manda Hill, Off Great East Road, LUSAKA.

(4) H.E. Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda, former Republican President & Outgoing MMD President, LUSAKA.

(5) Rt. Hon. Hakainde Hichilema, President of UPND, LUSAKA.

(6) Ambassador Major Richard Kachingwe, National Secretary, MMD Secretariat,LUSAKA.

(7) The Press.

 

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