Friday, September 25, 2009

Lying to donors

Lying to donors
Written by Editor

IT is said that if you get stubborn every time you are corrected, one day you will be crushed. In Proverbs 29: 4, we are told that when a king is concerned with justice, the nation will be strong, but when he is only concerned with money, he will ruin his country. There is a lot of wisdom in these sayings. These are things that must make any reasonable person stop and think.

No one can say that being stubborn in the face of good advice is a virtue. This is why we agree with the saying that those who are stubborn when corrected will one day be crushed. This is where Rupiah and his friends are headed.

When we look at our country today, we see a crisis building up. This is because Rupiah and his friends believe that they are clever and the rest of us are foolish and stupid. They have told themselves that they are the only ones who think. It seems that they believe that our people have no memory at all. They say one thing today and do say another tomorrow. This is why they can give ridiculous positions on issues and expect our people to accept the nonsense that they are throwing at them.

Rupiah and his friends have lost the basic prerequisites for governing the people - respect for the people they try to govern. It is clear that they don't care about what the people think. The only public opinion they are interested in is the praise from the sycophants who tell them the lies they want to hear. They have shown this quality repeatedly.

But the Frederick Chiluba case is a peak of the disregard that they have for the public. This case has demonstrated that Rupiah and his friends have no regard for justice and the rule of law. To them, bending the law is normal, something that they are entitled to because they are our masters.

Lying is a very bad vice. It shows disrespect for one's hearers. If you respect someone, you are likely to tell them the truth and treat them in a deferential way. The converse is also true, that is, if you don't respect someone, you treat them dismissively. This is human nature. Clearly, this is what is happening to our nation. We have people in office who are not prepared to tell our people the truth. And to add insult to injury, they treat our people dismissively. No one can say that the way Rupiah Banda and his minions have dealt with the acquittal of Chiluba and the withdrawal of the appeal shows any respect for the public. They have shown us that they will do what they like regardless of the consequences and the sentiments of our people.

We say this because no one can deny that the Chiluba case is a very important case in our country. And a government that respects its people would have dealt with it carefully. This is what is expected from a normal government. But Rupiah and his minions have chosen to deal with it with careless abandon. This is why one of them is even prepared to go on radio and tell the nation that the Chiluba acquittal is a political fix. This is what the words of works and supply minister Mike Mulongoti meant.

As we already know, George Kunda did not want to be outdone by Mulongoti in bootlicking. He also went and said his own piece of nonsense.

We are not surprised that our so-called leaders are ready to deal with our people with so much recklessness and disrespect. They feel safe because they believe they can always manipulate issues to suit themselves. After all, they have done it before.

It seems that Rupiah and his minions are not satisfied with hoodwinking and lying to our people. They also want to extend this vice to their relationship with their international cooperating partners.

Rupiah and his minions have no shame going to the donors, cup in hand, begging for handouts to run the country. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when one needs it. Even some of the countries that are today donors to Zambia have, in the past, been recipients of external aid themselves. But there is something seriously wrong when a beggar refuses to be accountable whilst demanding aid as an entitlement. This is the way Rupiah and his minions are behaving.

They don't want to enforce the rule of law so that the meagre resources that our country has from internal and external sources can be safeguarded. And yet they have no shame in going to ask other nations to assist us. How can we be asking for assistance when we are failing to be accountable for our resources? We say this because it does not make sense for us as a poor country to treat theft of public resources with undue accommodation when we are begging from others.

We are not saying that accountability is only necessary because we are asking other people to assist us. But surely, if you went to ask for mealie-meal from a neighbour to cook nshima because you had none, you would be considered foolish if you started throwing away the nshima after you have cooked it and thought you had had your fill.

What are you going to do the next day when you want to eat? Go again to your neighbour and ask for some more mealie-meal? What is your neighbour going to say? We are using a very basic example but it illustrates the foolishness of going to ask for donor funds whilst refusing to hold public servants like Chiluba accountable for the misuse of public resources.

The other day, Ronnie Shikapwasha, the chief government spokesman, told the nation that his government was committed to fighting corruption and the donors should not be misled by some sections of the media as they like to call us. By what he claims to be, Ronnie is supposed to be an honest man. But we wonder how truthful his sentiments are. Does he really mean what he is saying? Does he believe that the government he is serving is committed to fighting corruption? It is good to shut up when you have nothing to say. Ronnie would do well to apply this principle because increasingly, he is saying things that are not helping anybody. Not even the Rupiah he is trying to please. Like his friends George and Mulongoti, Ronnie's words are destructive.

Trying to talk down at the donors and pretend they live on another planet and do not know what is going on is a very porous strategy. What Ronnie is saying and doing is akin to telling somebody that what they are seeing is not true. But they are seeing it. How can you say to somebody who is looking at something that it is not there? Do Ronnie and the other Rupiah mouthpieces think that by telling the donors that they are committed to fighting corruption, they will hypnotise them into not seeing the rot that is going on?

Honour and dignity demands that people should be honest when they have messed up. It will be more respectful if people like Ronnie shut up, or if they had the courage to, admitted that they had messed up.

Today, we have seen an increasing number of diplomats politely telling our government that they are not taken in by the nonsensical propaganda that they keep churning out. The game is clear for everybody to see - a government which once pretended to fight corruption has openly become a defender of the corrupt. There are very few people, if any, present in Zambia today, foreign or local, diplomats or ordinary who believe that this government is ready to fight corruption at all. Their acts of condoning the corrupt and frustrating the fight against corruption are clearly sign-posted and require no superior intellect to be seen.

The behaviour of this government on the Chiluba acquittal and the withdrawal of the appeal is a clear message where Rupiah and his government stand on corruption.

As we have said before, Rupiah is only interested in his own pleasure and not national interest.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home