By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Transparency International Zambia (TI-Z) says Zambia has continued to be beset with several challenges in relation to governance and the management of public resources, which have made it very difficult to attain real economic emancipation.
TI-Z Executive Director Maurice Nyambe said that this is despite the country’s best efforts over the last 57 years of independence.
Mr Nyambe said that the rampant corruption the country has witnessed over the years is a challenge that has continued to concern citizens and other stakeholders, owing to the resource leakages and inequalities it has led to.
He said that there is no doubt that Zambia’s development prospects over the years have been limited by the continued plunder of public resources by selfish individuals who choose to put their interests over those of the wider citizenry.
“As Zambia turns 57 years, the need to consolidate our efforts towards addressing the many bottlenecks to our economic emancipation remains critical, Zambia has led by example in the demonstration of how peaceful transition of power can occur, and the time has come for us to lead by example in fighting corruption through implementing innovative measures to combat the scourge,” he said.
Mr Nyambe has since called on the UPND government to use this year’s commemoration of independence to turn the tide in the fight against corruption, and free Zambia from the shackles of this scourge.
He also urged the UPND administration to take up this challenge in order to bring Zambia back on the right trajectory.
“In this regard, the UPND manifesto, which we analyzed along with two other party manifestos prior to the 2021 elections, promises to actualize the declaration of assets and lifestyle audits on public officials, this promise is in line with Zambia’s Constitution, which provides for the declaration of assets and the development of a substantive law to actualize this provision,” he said.
Mr Nyambe further urged the UPND government to strengthen law enforcement agencies such as the Anti-Corruption and Drug Enforcement Commissions in order to upscale the prosecution of cases involving corruption.
He said that the Zambian public continues to demonstrate keen interest in how such cases are handled, and their anticipation is that those who have plundered public resources will be made to account for their actions in a manner that will serve as a deterrent to any future abuse of public resources.
“We want call upon all peace loving Zambians to continue demonstrating patriotism by reporting cases of corruption to law enforcement agencies, we are of the considered view that our quest as a country to make real progress in addressing the challenges we face will only succeed when citizens continue to not only take interest in how the affairs of the country are being run, but also to actively take part in those affairs at different levels,” he said.