LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu has said that ratings by international and local organisations that corruption is declining in Zambia, attests to Governmentâ€™s zero tolerance to the vice.
In a televised address to the nation last night to launch the United Nations anti-corruption week, President Lungu said that he will not shield corrupt government officials.
Data by various organisations shows that Zambia has made significant progress towards curbing corruption.
Transparency Internationalâ€™s corruption perception index (CPI) rating between 2010 and 2014 indicates that corruption levels in Zambia are decreasing.
From a score of 2.6 out of 10 in 2001, Zambia has improved to a score of 3.8 out of 10 in 2014,â€ he said.
Further indications are that in the past five years, Zambia has improved its score from three in 2010 to 3.7 in 2012 and 3.8 in 2014.
President Lungu said that another research by Ibrahim Index on African Governance, an international study conducted every year by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, shows that Zambia is making progress in the fight against corruption.
President Lungu said the Ibrahim Index further shows that Zambia has improved and is placed at 15th position in Africa with regard to accountability and management of corruption in 2015.
â€œThe highlighted achievements signal Governmentâ€™s resolve to the fight against corruption and desire to meet the conventionâ€™s concerns for state parties to establish effective corruption prevention mechanisms, as a first step towards tackling the scourge,â€ President Lungu said.
He said his Government has been firm in ensuring that public officials found wanting, including senior officials, are investigated and prosecuted.
The President said the fight against corruption continues to be high on Governmentâ€™s development agenda.
â€œLet me assure of our continued support to the institutions that are mandated to combat this vice,â€ he said.
The President further urged Zambians not to allow graft to be embedded in social systems because it is an impediment to development with negative effects on economies and households.
â€œCorruption weakens democratic institutions, perverts the rule of law, discourages investment and aid, undercuts public confidence, feeds inequality and disenfranchises large segments of the populace,â€ Mr Lungu said.
He said it is gratifying that the Anti-Corruption Commission has continued to devise new strategies against the vice, adding that the implementation of the national anti-corruption policy has been progressing well.
President Lungu urged Zambians to participate in the week-long anti-corruption awareness activities across the country.
During this period, he said people should reflect on the devastating effects of corruption on the economy and individual lives, and choose to reject the vice.
LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka