Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rupiah’s govt on path of self destruction - Lifuka

Rupiah’s govt on path of self destruction - Lifuka
By Kombe Chimpinde
Thu 12 Aug. 2010, 14:00 CAT

FILE PICTURE:Transparency International Zambia [TIZ ] president
TRANSPARENCY International Zambia TIZ has charged that President Rupiah Banda’s government is seemingly on a path of self-destruction.

And TIZ has cautioned works and supply minister Mike Mulongoti to be a little more measured in the manner he makes public pronouncements especially those that hinge on donors.

Reacting to Mulongoti's recent statement uttered when he featured on Mazabuka FM over the weekend where he accused donors of seeking regime change in developing countries by withholding aid prior elections, TIZ president Reuben Lifuka said that Mulongoti's disparaging remarks is a clear indication that Rupiah Banda's government is trading on the path to destruction.

“TIZ, finds the statement attributed to Hon Mike Mulongoti vis-à-vis donors and regime change and on the calls for greater accountability, to be unfortunate and a sign that the Zambian government is seemingly on a path of self destruction. Hon Mulongoti’s statement explains why corruption is difficult to deal with in Zambia. Government simply fails to take appropriate and timely action against those found wanting,” Lifuka said.

He implored Zambians to ask themselves what would stop President Banda’s government from treating Zambians with what he termed “impunity” if it did the same to its most reliable donors.

“Is it any wonder that government is arrogantly insisting on the mobile hospital project notwithstanding the people’s opposition to it?” Lifuka questioned.

“It has become more convenient for government to blame donors, civil society and opposition political parties for their failings.”

He reminded government to keep it at the back of their minds that they were elected into office to exercise leadership even in difficult times like when donors withheld funding and that people did not expect them to indulge in the luxury of doing nothing.

Lifuka warned Mulongoti against issuing insensitive and careless statements stressing that this may hurt meaningful donor investment into the country and negatively affect international relations that government had so far established.

“Hon Mulongoti, has been in government long enough to appreciate the fact that donors or cooperating partners do not come into the country uninvited and our leadership including Hon Mulongoti make a conscious decision to enter into agreements with them. Such relationships for support trigger an obvious obligation for mutual accountability and the Zambian government is obliged to account for every ngwee that they receive,” said Likfuka.

TIZ has since called on the government to refocus its energies on devising practical ways towards fighting corruption and continued looting of public coffers as opposed to politicking.

Lifuka further stressed that the fight against corruption would not be won by sheer eloquence of words but through pragmatic actions.

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