By Venus N Msyani
Corruption escaped President Hakainde Hichilema’s address to the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. It was the first Hichilema speech with no word corruption and it is both surprising and not surprising.
Surprising because President Hichilema assured the 76th Session that corruption would be at the center of Zambia’s economic transformation agenda and it has been. Was he not supposed to report the progress of his declared fight against corruption?
Hichilema addressed the 76Th Session of the UN General Assembly after the new dawn administration had just recovered K65, 333, 046, and US$ 57, 900 from a corruption suspect, which might have motivated his speech.
US president Joe Biden’s praise of Zambian youth for having rejected corruption by voting United Party for National Development (UPND) into office added to it.
Unfortunately. Hichilema administration seems to have misunderstood Biden’s praise. The fight against corruption is being abused by using it to weaken the opposition.
it is generating unnecessary arrests, intimidations, and harassment. Properties are being grubbed from owners without proper investigations.
Most of these properties if not all, belong to the former ruling party officials. Making the fight against corruption appear selective and vindictive.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was some weeks ago advised by UPND to act on old corruption cases involving the previous regime before looking at new alleged corruption by the current administration and it appears the advice was taken.
Emerging corruption allegations involving the new dawn administration officials are disappearing like a cloud of smoke in the air.
For the opposition, it has reached the point where even the deceased are not safe. A few months ago, authorities exhumed the body of a suspect who it was alleged had faked his death to escape from corruption prosecution.
The suspect (deceased) was a former ruling party Patriotic Front (PF) member and the former president’s close friend. Would be surprised if the news didn’t get to the ears of the world.
This is why also it is not surprising to see HH avoided mentioning corruption during his recent address to the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.