Thursday, November 04, 2010

Leaders should have a sense of public shame, says Kabimba

Leaders should have a sense of public shame, says Kabimba
By Patson Chilemba
Wed 03 Nov. 2010, 04:01 CAT

PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba yesterday observed that leaders like President Rupiah Banda and Inspector General of Police Francis Kabonde would not be in office if they had a sense of public shame.

Commenting on the resignation of Kenya’s foreign minister Moses Wetangula amid a growing scandal involving the alleged misuse of his ministry’s funds on several land deals abroad, Kabimba said leaders in public office should be guided by a sense of public shame coupled with a standard of morality required in public office.

He cited a former defence minister in Japan who resigned after his son was found in possession of drugs at a roadblock.

“The only connection was that he was his son. When he was arrested and charged with that offence, the guy former defence minister resigned,” Kabimba said.

He said in Zambia, President Banda saw nothing wrong with having education minister Dora Siliya in office as then communications and transport minister when she was facing a tribunal over the scandalous engagement of RP Capital Partners to evaluate the assets of Zamtel.

“Even just the fact that the President’s son Henry was mentioned very prominently in the Dora Siliya tribunal could have led to the President’s resignation. In the Western world, which Kenya is emulating now in terms of morals in public office, the President would have resigned, or his Cabinet colleagues would have prevailed on him to resign,” Kabimba said. “But in this country, if you were to apply that high standard of public morality, you would have no government tomorrow.”

Kabimba said when leaders in other countries were resigning on allegations of abusing their offices, the Zambian government was more determined to remove the offence of abuse of office from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act.

“Because that is the clause that governs the kind of conduct that has led to the Kenyan foreign minister resigning from office,” he said.

Kabimba said Zambian leaders lacked a sense of public shame and that was why they could sit in Cabinet and remove the abuse of office offence clause.

He said Kabonde was still serving in public office when investigations involving him were still ongoing.
“Otherwise, Rupiah Banda and Kabonde would not be in office. They would have voluntarily left, or their colleagues who actually have a sense of public shame amongst them would have prevailed on them to leave,” said Kabimba. “But it looks like there is no exception to the lack of sense of public shame which every politician in my view must actually subscribe to.”

Last week, Kenya’s Wetangula, who maintains his innocence, stepped down as members of parliament were set to vote on his suspension.

A parliamentary report recommended his removal until claims over deals for new embassies were fully investigated.

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