Zambian foreign minister sets new bar after resigning over ‘rampant corruption’

Fredrick Ngugi January 03, 2018
Zambian Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba resigns over greed. Photo credit: Zambia Business Times

The Zambian foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba has set new standards in terms of fighting corruption after he resigned from President Edgar Lungu’s government over what he termed as rampant corruption.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Kalaba attacked the Zambian government saying it has taken a dangerous path of insatiable greed and disgrace, adding that this is unacceptable and inappropriate.

“There comes a time in a person’s life when it becomes necessary to die to self for the good of others and if not for that reason, at least to stand for one’s cherished ideals and values. I have just dropped my resignation letter as Foreign Affairs Minister with President Edgar Lungu – a position I have cherished and held for over 4 years,” the post read in part.

“I have no shed of doubt that this was a necessary undertaking and an unavoidable one looking at the path our country has taken – a path of insatiable greed and shame which is clearly unacceptable and unsuitable.”

Many Zambians have congratulated him for finding the courage to disassociate himself from President Lungu’s administration, which has often been accused of condoning looting of the public coffers and other forms of corruption.

But others have dismissed his resignation as a mere political stunt, with some even suggesting that he was forced to resign for his continued criticism of the government.

“Kalaba should be beaten for going against the establishment that made him to be who he is today,” Kabova wrote on Lusaka Times.

But Kalaba insists that his decision to resign was made out of his own volition and respect for his values, objectives and principles.

In the lengthy Facebook post, the minister also accused the Zambian government of giving preference to foreigners for local jobs and business opportunities at the expense of jobless Zambian youths.

His scathing attack comes just less than two weeks after the government of Zambia announced its plan to employ Chinese police officers as reservists. The plan was later halted following a major public outcry.

“We cannot proceed to manage national affairs with cold indifference when the levels of corruption are swelling and being perpetrated by those who are expected to be the solution,” the minister wrote.

According to GAN Anti-Corruption, the state of corruption in Zambia is getting worse by the day, with individuals and companies encountering rampant bribery in almost all business operations, including obtaining business licenses and permits, paying taxes and setting up utilities.

Local and foreign companies have to give kickbacks when applying for government contracts, a situation that continues to hinder the country’s economic growth.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: June 19, 2018


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