KINDLY allow me space in your paper to urge the Patriotic Front government to seriously consider re-enacting some “discarded” laws which had very high ability to restrict public officers abusing their authority.
As many citizens may recall, the “Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP days” had a leadership code of conduct for public workers.
The leadership code prohibited leaders from having private business interests, other than small-scale enterprises and smallholder land.
It inculcated a sense of civic commitment upon the political and administrative elite, and also prevented abuse of office. The code covered a broad spectrum of public officials, including “all persons in the civil service, local authorities, institutions of higher learning or any enterprise where Government had majority controlling interest”.
Coupled with the above, Government should also re-enact the Special Investigations on Economy and Trade (SITET).
Owing to these instruments of power, there were very few cases of abuse of office compared to these days. Unfortunately and for whatever reason, these documents were done away with, with the ushering in of multi-party governance.
Once these two laws are re-enacted, they will complement the great effort being done by the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Drug Enforcement Commission.
The three bodies can then have a division of labour according to their specialisation.
We the citizens recognise that abuse of office undermines good governance, harms economic and social development, as well as distorting trade.
The more vigorously the scourge is fought, the better for our country.
Let the powers that be waste no more time but act decisively because as the Bemba say, “Mukulolekesha, emukutobolwa”.
The issue of re-enacting the above-mentioned legal provisions is squarely on the shoulders of the Ministry of Justice and related legal institutions to take it up without delay.