LEADERSHIP Movement president Richard Silumbe has called on the government to come up with stiff laws to stop corruption in the country.
He says corruption was on the increase because Zambians have glorified it for a long time.
In an interview, Dr Silumbe said corrupt leaders should not be retained after the August polls.
“Corruption is the defilement of the State. The same punishment, therefore that we give any person who defiles a child should be applied to a corrupt person,” he suggested.
“If you are found corrupt, you should serve 37 years imprisonment. And that will deter anybody from benefiting from government coffers or pocketing government money or taking advantage of government resources because they will not stomach the penalties. It is only punishment that makes people to be aware of and stay away from certain crimes.”
Dr Silumbe noted that today, Zambia was recording less numbers of car thefts because former president Frederick Chiluba and others attached stiff punishment to motor vehicle offences.
He said it was possible to design taut laws that would stop corruption in the country.
“When car theft was on the increase – you park a car you will find that it is lost. What did they do? They went to parliament and enacted a law that made car theft to be a non-bailable offence. And if you are convicted it was from 25 years to life imprisonment. And what has happened to car theft? Instantly people stopped stealing cars. Today, you can park your car and leave it for days you will find it,” Dr Silumbe said.
“This is what should happen to corruption, because corruption is defiling the state. Under the Leadership Movement, corruption will be classified as defilement of the state and you will face a maximum punishment of up to 37 years imprisonment and non-bailable while the investigations are ongoing. That will allow anybody not to destroy their lives by way of stealing government resources.”
He said Chinese were not corrupt in their home country because corruption was life imprisonment.
“They are only corrupt here in Africa. They are not corrupt where they are coming from. In China, corruption is life imprisonment that is why they are developing,” he said.
“That is what we want to bring to Zambia as well. We want to deal with the root of the problem. We don’t want to deal with mere talking and arguments or crying but we want to strike at the roots. Once you are found wanting with corruption, you are gone.”
Dr Silumbe said laws must be stiff to deter would-be offenders.
He also said there was need to improve the judicial system for the good of the country.
“How many people have been convicted with corruption and they have never even spent one day in prison, because by the time the judge is making a ruling of one-year imprisonment, they would have already outlived that in court – they would have spent three years on trial,” Dr Silumbe said.
He said he had witnessed good morals in other countries because of good laws.
“Here we entertain the corrupt people. Look at the opposition and the ruling party, they are just the same because corrupt individuals keep on changing from one political party to another. And they are glorified as hero of the voiceless,” noted Dr Silumbe.
“They embrace them for changing government but they come with the same corrupt mind. This is why the Leadership Movement is different from these other political parties. For corruption to end in this country, we have to deal with the root cause of this stupidity in the political arena.”