Given Lubinda’s disgraceful defense of PF corruption

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Given Lubinda

Listening to Given Lubinda respond to the question on why Zambia’s corruption perception had a worsened was not only disheartening but also infuriating. These reports have been release every years with key recommendation but as usual government gives them dismissive responses. Lubinda yapped things like “We are not that bad”, “President Lungu is committed to corruption”, “We have improved from number 123 to number 96” and gave the tired hogwash that opposition is politicking and denting Zambia’s image. Lubinda should know everything about corruption of political, it’s a campaign issue and will always be. Further the index assesses the perception of the public sector only, in other words it’s partly an official score of the governments performance.

Here are the factual reasons why Lubinda is deceiving citizens and should for once act like an honourable minister and not prey on people’s ignorance.

1. Zambia’s current score is 37/100 and it’s pointless for Lubinda to console himself that we are not in the bottom 50. It’s like you fail an exam and boast about not being the last, which is nonsensical.
2. The corruption perception for South Africa is better than ours at 43/100, which can be corroborated by the strong institutions. But despite having a better score, their institutions are more aggressive than ours which claim to be committed to fight corruption.
3. Another context worth considering is that corruption to Zambia does more damage than corruption in other well to do countries. So if poverty and inequality is not reducing then as a country we have no right to seek comfort in rankings.
4. Lubinda should not point fingers at the opposition. He should educate himself that the Transparency international survey involves interviewing of a range of people from reputable institutions and incorporates other surveys.
5. Zambia performance historically shows that there hasn’t been much improvement from the time PF took over with the 2012 – 2017 scores remaining level and rankings fluctuating.

2007 – Score 2.6/10 (Rank 123)
2008 – Score 2.8/10 (Rank 115)
2009 – Score 3.0/10 (Rank 99)
2010 – Score 3.0/10 (Rank 101)
2011 – Score 3.2/10 (Rank 91)
2012 – Score 37/100 (Rank 88)
2013 – Score 38/100 (Rank 83)
2014 – Score 38/100 (Rank 85)
2015 – Score 38/100 (Rank 76)
2016 – Score 38/100 (Rank 87)
2017 – Score 37/100 (Rank 96)

The Minister’s response today tried to play around with rankings other than the interpretation of Zambia’s score and this is one of the reason why incompetence in PF is pandemic. For instance, Transparency Int. found that company that score low have a tendency to clump down on media and silence critics of corruption. That definitely sounds familiar to every Zambia. Secondly low scoring countries have a tendency of illegal dealings and cumbersome regulations. This point is attested to by the Ministry of Lands, which is one of the most corrupt departments in Zambia, because their processes are cumbersome and not transparent. The chaos around land allocation is what ministry employees, cadres and those connected to the system take advantage of to keep the poor in the queues whilst the get all the land.

So whilst Lubinda can play around with rankings and try to mislead the country he has failed to interpret the CPI report in the way it is supposed to. So who is merely politicking here and not taking responsibility? PF should stop this lazy and insincere behaviour of accusing citizens of trying to dent Zambia’s image but should take responsibility for once in their lives.

Richard W

P.S. Minister of religious affairs, Hon Sumaili should organise special prayers for the ministry of lands employees ba chilamo!

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