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STOP THE LIES

THE truth will always come out and no amount of sugar-coated statements will hide the realities on the ground.

This is why we wish to advise Mr Thabo Kawana, the Media and Spokesperson at the Ministry of Information and Media to stop making ridiculous statements.

Mr Kawana has been in the habit of denying that any form of corruption or caderism exists.  But that is not the reality.

The truth is that caderism has not been stamped out as the new dawn administration would want the nation to believe.

President Hakainde Hichilema had this brought to his attention at Munyaule Market in Lusaka during an impromptu meeting with marketeers and bus drivers.

The marketers and bus drivers complained to the Head of State that some UPND cadres have started charging money and harassing traders at Munyaule market.

“There are a lot of cadres at Munyaule market and Chalala Mall who are beating us if we refuse to give them money. We are being charged to operate from City market,” they said, amidst shouts of “Bally, Bally.”

And rather than try and offer excuses, President Hichilema told the drivers that no cadre will be allowed to collect money at bus stations and markets.

It is pleasing that action has been taken against the cadres harassing bus drivers and marketeers following intervention by President Hichilema, according to sources at Munyaule Market.

They said the cadres have been talked to and are no longer causing confusion by demanding payments from bus drivers.

Mr Hichilema campaigned on a platform of not only ending corruption but caderism at bus stations and markets.

But while this scourge has continued, though on a reduced scale, people like Mr Kawana have claimed that caderism has been routed out and that there is no trace of corruption in the new dawn administration.

Ironically, a UPND MP has accused some of his fellow members of playing double standards in the fight against corruption.

Sesheke Member of Parliament, Romeo Kang’ombe said he had information that some UPND officials were using their positions to help criminal minded individuals from being made accountable.

This, he said, was betraying President Hichilema in the fight against corruption because they are accomplices in criminal activities.

It is important that government officials do not live in denial that there are some “rotten eggs” in the system.

Being in denial is dangerous for it robs them of the chance to make informed and corrective action.  It does not help anyone to lead a life based on a lie.

President Hichilema would have been in his comfort zone believing that caderism has been eliminated altogether based on information from officials in his administration.

But the complaints he heard for himself confirmed what opposition figures and others have been speaking about, and earned names.

We think government functionaries like Mr Kawana must learn that it is not always good to deny the truth but rather to listen and act on information coming from outside the UPND government circles.

Maybe it might be a good idea to have the minister of Information and Media, Ms Chushi Kasanda be the official Government spokesperson who could be held accountable for any misinformation instead of a junior civil servant like Mr Kawana.

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