Editor's Comment

Decision-makers must remain focused

President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. PICTURE: SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE ©2017

IT IS regrettable and in fact even annoying that unsubstantiated allegations of corruption have become incessant.

Not only are the allegations of corruption sustained but have also left some senior Government officials scared stiff from making decisions.
This failure to make decisions on account of being labelled corrupt is affecting Government operations and thus affecting service delivery.
When Government fails to deliver the much-needed services, it is the citizens who will suffer.
The same people who have invested so much time singing the corruption hymn will change their chorus and castigate Government for failing to deliver services to the citizens.
Then come 2021, the critics tell people that Government has failed.
We, therefore, urge senior Government to heed President Lungu’s counsel to continue executing their duties normally.
Continued corruption allegations against them should not distract them as long as they know that what they are doing is within the law, their authority and for the good of Zambia and its citizens.
It is a pity that some ministers and permanent secretaries are living in fear due to the continued corruption allegations against them.
Like President Lungu said, permanent secretaries and ministers should stick to the rules and make sound decisions.
When they comply with regulations, nobody will accuse them of being corrupt.
Allegations of corruption are aimed at distracting Government from fulfilling promises the ruling Patriotic Front.
After all, there is a scheme by some opposition members to insistently raise corruption allegations against Government to make them appear true.
Some opposition members will be raising allegations of corruption every day until a perception is created that these are true.
Incessant allegations of corruption are not supposed to scare senior Government officials at all.
Instead, they have to be on guard by ensuring that no elements of corruption are traced in their work.
All those serving in Mr Lungu’s Government should realise that the President has declared zero-tolerance to corruption.
Corruption allegations against Government officials are not new. They have been there.
That is why President Lungu challenges those with evidence to report to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The ACC is the body tasked with investigating corruption and not the press.
Some allegations against corruption border on sour grapes and jealousy, which the country should not entertain. We are a country of laws and not men.
Therefore, permanent secretaries and ministers should draw courage from the presidential counsel.
They should no longer be intimidated but focus on their work.
Like President Lungu said, permanent secretaries and ministers should do their work diligently by following all laid down procedures and due processes so that they do not give the noise-makers a chance to distract them.
The entire country is expecting service delivery at its highest level from those in Government because the PF promised people a lot in 2011 when it assumed power.

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