Friday, May 11, 2007

Lies won't save Chiluba

Lies won't save Chiluba
By Editor
Friday May 11, 2007 [04:00]

WHEN justice is done, good people are happy, but evil people are brought to despair. It is not us saying this. It is Proverbs 21:15. And it goes on to say that the wicked bring on themselves the suffering they try to cause good people (Proverbs 21:18). They say what you get by dishonesty you may enjoy like the finest food, but sooner or later it will be like a mouthful of sand. The riches you get by dishonesty soon disappear, but not before they lead you into the jaws of death. Guilty people walk a crooked path; the innocent do what is right.

Some people ruin themselves by their own stupid actions and then blame others for it. There is nothing new Frederick Chiluba said at his press conference yesterday. It is stupid for Chiluba to try and blame British Prime Minister Tony Blair for the consequences of his own thefts or abuses. Blair never asked Chiluba to steal or abuse the resources of the Zambian people.

We who have been in the anti-imperialist struggle for the most part of our lives and understand imperialism in all its forms, know very well that Chiluba is not an anti-imperialist. He is simply a thief who wants to run away from being made accountable and trying to capitalise on our people's justifiable and legitimate hatred for imperialism. When Chiluba was using London and other European capitals to steal money from his own people, there was no question or issue of British or any other form of imperialism.

We know who the anti-imperialists are among our politicians and we also know who the lackeys of imperialism are. We wouldn't be surprised today if Mobutu Sese Seko were alive and sued in Brussels for the recovery of the money he stole from Zaire and cried that there was an imperialist plot against him by the Belgians. But would this make sense? Since when was Mobutu anti-imperialist?

Chiluba should not try to deceive the Zambian people that this is a default judgment. Defence was entered in this case and they only bolted when they realised that the case was too tight for them. The truth is Chiluba is not ready to face an independent tribunal anywhere in the world, including here in Zambia. And this may explain why he has enough energy to address press briefings at Lusaka International Airport and elsewhere but he has none for court proceedings against him.

For over a year this little thief has been running away from court using the excuse of illness but at the same time when it comes to other things he is fit. Last year, Chiluba and his tandem of thieves, including the fugitive ones, were very excited about the prospects of Michael Sata becoming president because he had promised to drop the cases against them.

They pulled the string a little long and ensured that no court proceedings were concluded until Sata became president. In that way they thought they would escape justice. This didn't work and 2011 is still very far away. The truth is Chiluba cannot defend himself successfully over his thefts before any independent tribunal, hence his resorting to all sorts of legal and political gymnastics, including medical tourism in Johannesburg.

The propaganda displayed by Chiluba at his press conference is not only childish but stupid because he doesn't address the principle issues concerning thefts. And moreover, these issues could have been addressed in court and not at press conferences. It will not help him much to hurl all sorts of insults and racist remarks on Blair and judge Peter Smith. It is not Blair or judge Smith who is facing suits or charges of theft. What was taken to the London court for adjudication was not Blair's corruption. It was Chiluba's thefts.

Yes, there is corruption in the UK, in America and other places in the world. But that is not the issue the Zambian people are trying to address. What we are concerned with is what Chiluba stole from us. Yes, there is corruption in Levy Mwanawasa's government and those involved in it will one day be made to account. If Levy himself is involved in it, he will also be made to meet the temerity of his actions. But today it is Chiluba's day, it is Chiluba's hour.

The Zambian people will not wait or suspend proceedings against Chiluba until everyone else who has stolen something from government is made to account. If this was a way to proceed, there would be no criminals in our prisons because we would have to wait until everyone who has committed a crime is arrested and prosecuted simultaneously or at the same time.

Chiluba must accept that he stole money from the Zambian people using what he is today calling imperialist systems or institutions and bought his suits, shirts, neckties and shoes from these same imperialist countries.

Is it not wise or prudent for the Zambian people to use the same systems, to walk the same path in their efforts to recover that which he stole from them? Chiluba's arguments about covert security operations are neither here nor there. It's not possible to hide thefts behind security covert operations. These can easily be discerned from the legitimate work of our security agencies.

The truth is Chiluba and his friend thought if they stole using security agencies no one would ever find what they have done and bring them to justice. They deceived themselves and today their evil scheme has been laid bare for all our people to see their inequities. And there is no posterity that will prove Chiluba right and legitimatise his thefts and abuses. Posterity will only prove Chiluba to have been a shameless thief.

And Chiluba should not cheat himself that there will be confusion, unrest or a disturbance on the peace of this country as a result of his being made to account for his thefts. Actually, the opposite may be true - there will be no peace in this country if he is not made to account for his thefts and return what he has stolen.

Does this thief really understand the meaning of peace or what constitutes peace? Peace is not earned by shielding thieves from prosecution. Peace is the fruit of honesty, truth and solidarity; it is the tranquillity of order. And to guarantee peace, all are called to honesty and responsibility.

Peace is not brought by stealing or abusing public funds and then trying all sorts of crooked schemes, political or otherwise, to get away with it. Yes, his friend Michael Sata, as Chiluba says, sometimes doesn't mean what he says but the Zambian people mean what they say when they say they want their money back; they meant what they said when in 2002 they demonstrated in large numbers calling for the removal of his presidential immunity.

This is not a mock engagement between Chiluba and his friend Levy Mwanawasa. We say this because if this was just a matter between him and Levy, all his cases would have been dropped a long time ago in the same way he tried to do with Kashiwa Bulaya's case. This is not a Levy case against Chiluba; it is a legitimate people's case against Chiluba.

There is no one who is trying to drive a wedge between him and Sata. No one can choose friends for a 70-year-old man. If anything it is him Chiluba who has no faith in, or respect for, his friend Sata. If he did he wouldn't say publicly that Sata doesn't mean what he says. How can a man who wants to be president of a country of 11 million people be saying things he doesn't mean and expect people to take him seriously?

However, there is one good thing that came out of Chiluba's press conference, which Levy should not take lightly - the need to maintain permanent vigilance and an always combative spirit against corruption. It cannot be denied that there are serious weaknesses in this country's fight against corruption. And other than political declarations or rhetoric, very little, if not nothing, has been done in terms of legal and organisational reforms to strengthen our fight against corruption.

This in itself means that the corruption that has embryo in the Chiluba regime is growing, spreading or mutating at an exponentially ever accelerated rate. This is why Chiluba today can boast that there is more corruption under Levy's regime than was in the previous 37 years of our country's independence. Chiluba even forgets that the culture of corruption that is today afflicting our country was planted and nurtured by himself.

As for those pastors who have put themselves at the service of thieves, and not of the people, we wonder what type of God they believe in. We can only ask ourselves if there is any similarity between the God those who are fighting corruption and Chiluba's thefts believe in and the one in whom those pastors who are defending Chiluba seem to believe in.

Anyway we shouldn't forget that in the Old Testament the prophets were worried by idolatry, the gods created in accord with human interests. There is still much idolatry. In the name of God, all sorts of crimes are committed and defended. Anyway, today some pastors have become like some lawyers who one can hire to defend them no matter what crime they have committed against the people.

Moreover, Jesus didn't come to serve only the good people but also for the redemption of the bad ones. But we shouldn't stretch this to dimensions where it starts to look as if Jesus came to defend crime and criminals.

Chiluba is a thief and the only way to help him is to make him account for his thefts and repent, show remorse so that he can be redeemed or forgiven. Encouraging him to continue telling lies and praying for his lies, asking God to bless his falsehoods is certainly not right. If anything, it is blasphemy and immoral.

No lies, no prayers will turn Chiluba's dishonesty, thefts into virtuous or good deeds. What remains now is the enforcement of the London judgment against Chiluba and his friends and it shall be enforced. We have no doubt about this. The only way it cannot be enforced is through a legitimate and successful judicial challenge and not through press conferences and lies of all sorts.

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At 4:31 AM , Blogger MrK said...

Chiluba stole, but much of his stealing was by signing on the dotted line and taking a bribe.

Let us make sure the people who benefited from this corruption do not continue to benefit. Let us take a very close look at the 'production agreements' that were signed during his government's reign, and let's have a close look at how claims and concessions were sold.


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