Fighting institutional corruption

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 15:48:29 +0000

Once again we have the distinct dishonour of reporting yet another incident where the people of Zambia may lose $25 million through irregular procurement and this is happening to an institution that should have been instituting water tight procedures.

Very recently the entire management of the institution was overhauled on account of a pronounced desire to curb graft and institute procedures that would preclude any form of underhand corrupt or irregular dealings.  A new team was put in place and one would have expected that things were to change.  But sadly this will not be the case.

If anything a more rapacious system seems to have generated.  Which system is worse and more dangerous than before, according to inside information officers within RTSA have been lobbying with various suppliers and indeed a team has travelled out of the country to meet suppliers.  Equally other meetings and briefings contrary to normal business trade protocols have taken place, thereby making total nonsense of any procedures.

We are now made to understand that a contract is being considered even without the requisite due diligence which would have exposed the incapacity of the prospective supplier.

The tragedy of this situation is that normal systems have been circumvented because those operating have political blessings and are therefore above the tender norms.  This is exactly the situation and circumstances in which corruption in Zambia will continue unabated, because those with political clout will continue to occupy sensitive office and indeed oversee expenditure running into billions of kwacha without any question.

This is possible because institution of governance have been compromised to the extent that they are ineffective and only serve as political tools against perceived political enemies.

The fight against corruption will only be effective if such institutions as anti-corruption commission and indeed prosecution agencies have a high moral and integrity base which does not leave room for doubt as they carry out their investigations and subsequent prosecutions.

For some time to come and unless some thing is done the campaign against corruption will be an exercise in absolute futility which in turn will be a danger to public resources that are intended to serve the expressed needs and wishes of the Zambian people.

A corrupt system deprives the most needy of resources that would go a long way in improving conditions and status of the people.

Our hope therefore is that the government will work diligently to create an image through restructured governance systems that will inspire confidence and comfort to all Zambians regardless of political affiliation.

The situation at RTSA deserves a thorough investigation which should either confirm allegations of irregularity or indeed establish that the reports that we are privy to of massive corruption are not true.

However, the starting point is the creation of institutions that will inspire confidence.

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