TRANSPARENCY International Zambia (TIZ) says the Zambian Government is not doing enough to end corruption.
TIZ president made the remarks during the Anti-Corruption Day celebrations in the Lusaka Showgrounds yesterday.
Lifuka observed that the Government had not done anything significant in 2019 to show its seriousness with ending corruption.
“There has been nothing extraordinary or historical about the fight against corruption in 2019. The prevalence of corruption remains high and various corruption metrics and corruption measurement tools, clearly demonstrate this fact. The perception among many Zambians is that Government is not doing enough to fight corruption and various scandals and exposes in the media, unfortunately continue to fortify this perception,” said Lifuka.
“Corruption harms the environment and slows down progress towards all Sustainable Development Goals. Corruption will make our country suffer the impacts of climate change as public funds may be siphoned off for private gain and some decisions made which harm the environment and aggravate the situation further. If we do not wake up to this reality, corruption will rob this country and posterity of a future,” Lifuka added.
He said the Anti-Corruption Day should be the day to introspect, to look back at what Zambia had achieved and not achieved in the fight against corruption but sadly the day was slowly turning into a platform for speeches that do not yeild results of real a fight.
“The fight against corruption should have no enemies only allies. Surely we do not expect any well-meaning Zambian, to use a popular political cliché in this country, to be enemies of progress and oppose in speech and deed, those who are fighting against corruption. Today is an occasion for us to rethink our fight against corruption. It is evident that the strategies that we have adopted over the years, have not yielded the necessary results,” said Lifuka.
He said it was not enough for Zambia to have good laws which would not be fully enforced.
“It is not appropriate and effective for us to have institutions like the Anti-Corruption Commission which we do not fund adequately for it to fully discharge its functions. It is a disservice to ourselves and to future generations to have government agencies like the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) which prepares reports that we simply rubbish without taking any necessary action,” he said.
Likfuka urged President President Lungu to take notice when the Financial Intelligence Centre report of 2018 shows K 6.1 billion suspicious transactions, of which K4.9 billion was lost to corruption.
He said Zambia could not be indifferent to the significance of the various reports on the state of corruption in Zambia.
And Anti-Corruption Commission justice Anderson Zikonda said corruption can prevent citizen from getting basic services they deserve.
He said Zambia could saved rom further harm of corruption and its devastating effects if the vice could be curbed and its perpetrators brought to justice.
“It can also take away money that you and I should have otherwise used to improve our lives. Corruption can make us get only medical prescriptions instead of medicines. It makes some of our children to continue learning under trees even when construction can claim many lives through road accidents by putting incompetent drivers on our roads. It can deny you and me ownership of our duly paid for pieces of land and make towns look like they have no planners,” said Zikonda.
United Nations resident coordinator Dr. Coumba Mar Gadio said active participation citizen in curbing corruption scourge was paramount to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.
She said government must create opportunities system where everyone could have equal access to public services as legitimate rights holders without paying bribes.
Dr. Gadio said corruption was a complex challenge that continues to persist in many countries across the world.