Editor's Comment

Back corruption allegations with evidence

THE propensity to falsely accuse others of committing crimes is alarming. Of more concern though is the damage these liars cause to innocent people and actually get away with their falsehoods.
This should not be allowed to continue, considering that, in some instances, the damage is irreparable.
In some instances, such as accusation of witchcraft, innocent people have been killed.
Similarly, many innocent people have been and are being accused of corruption without any justification or proof. Some victims have had their names dented so much that even when courts of law clear them of the allegations, the perception remains that they are corrupt.
This is why President Edgar Lungu and all others concerned about false whistleblowers is calling for the prosecution of those who are falsely accusing others of corruption.
The Head of State is concerned, and rightly so, that some people are taking pleasure in tarnishing the names of innocent people through unfounded corruption allegations.
Corruption indeed has become a proverbial song on the lips of many Zambians. Time and again, we hear of people, through social media, lamenting about high corruption levels in Government and the country as a whole.
It is, however, saddening that despite standing on anthills to make corruption allegations, these individuals fail to present evidence to back their allegations.
President Lungu has time and again invited those with evidence of corruption to present such to law enforcement agencies, but most of those who scream the loudest about corruption fail to come forth.
They are more comfortable with ranting in the media about corruption rather than quietly approaching law enforcement agencies with evidence on purported corrupt activities.
This only goes to show that their claims are unsubstantiated and there is no evidence to present to law enforcers.
It is also evident that these individuals are just using the corruption campaign to gain attention and funding from the international communities with an interest in such matters.
And as the Head of State has observed, these are just detractors whose major intention is to shroud success Government has scored in developing the nation by painting it black.
“We all know that some public officers have been found wanting, not only at ministerial level but in the civil service, and we have parted company, but our detractors are the first to embrace those that leave my administration in a true spirit of the enemy of my enemy is a friend,” President Lungu said.
This only goes to show that their corruption campaign is not genuine but premised on a hidden agenda.
It is highly immoral and irresponsible for a Zambian citizen worth the name to go to such lengths to dent the image of the country and those in Government for the sake of getting funding or gaining political mileage.
What may not be known is that their persistent and unfounded ranting about corruption does not only affect the individuals targeted, but the country as a whole.
The more people make public allegations about corruption, the more the perception of the country is dented.
The ranking of Zambia on the international corruption indices is mainly as a result of the unsubstantiated corruption talk as opposed to the number of proven cases.
We are not implying that people should not voice out on corruption, but their claims should be evidence-based.
The Whistleblowers Act was put in place to encourage and protect those who report on corruption.
Needless to say, those who have evidence about corruption and wish to report such are protected by the law.
But for those who are out to destroy the reputation of innocent people for reasons known to themselves risk being dealt with in accordance with the law.
According to the Anti-Corruption Act, those who make false corruption accusations are liable to prosecution.
Certainly, punishment must be meted out to those who, with impunity, choose to waste government resources and time by framing innocent people who end up being acquitted by the courts of law.
The unbecoming trend of accusing, trying and sentencing innocent people through social media must come to an end.
The newly appointed Anti-Corruption Commission commissioners must take heed of the President’s directive and bring sanity by applying the law accordingly.
Yes, whistleblowers are welcome but they must have evidence.

Facebook Feed