By Prince J. Ndoyi
We want to comment on the recent revelations in the PARADISE PAPERS where UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has been named among the many as the only Zambian tax avoider. HH has been exposed as the only Zambian who has HIDDEN money in offshore accounts as in the classic AUSTIN LIATO SAGA who instead buried monies and was later pardoned.
Dr Chishimba Kambwili has made scathing headlines with his newly found political imagery and endearment in the “fight against corruption.” Therefore it would be even more so expected of him to add his voice to these revelations because TAX AVOIDANCE is equally CORRUPTION. As UPND and it’s President are caught up in this MORAL DILEMMA, Dr Kambwili can not go silent on the matter as though he has not heard. Why should Dr Kambwili conveniently jump to commenting on President Lungu’s statement yesterday on his tenure when there is an issue Zambians have been waiting for him to rush to the media like he always does to comment on it?
If indeed Dr Kambwili is genuinely fighting for the Zambian people, surely his strategic and deliberate silence on the matter is unfortunately SO LOUD. One maybe left to speculate that the claims the former minister has been making on the fight against corruption, fight against dishonesty in politics, fight for the rule of law, fight for integrity in politics, could be merely personal and political rhetoric not based on a strong willed fight for transparency, morality and integrity.
If political leaders like Dr Kambwili don’t speak out they lend silent legitimacy to this act. Dr Kambwili and his team must come out clean if the act by HH to externalise monies into offshore accounts is an honorable act worth a person seeking to lead a country.
Dr Kambwili must tell the nation how he finds the response from his newly found friend UPND president Hakainde Hichilema when he says he is happy with the Paradise Papers because they show that Zambians can be entrepreneurial by avoiding to pay taxes here and investing abroad?
We question Dr Kambwili whether objective morality exists? We say so because logic dictates the necessity of an objective comment from him and his team on the morality of the act by UPND President.
We fear that Dr Kambwili is being selective in his perception of the entire saga, clearly showing how much objectivity he may be lacking on his new agenda. We wonder if at all these revelations affect his conscious as they have evidently affected the many Zambian people regardless of friendship and party affiliation.
It makes sad knowledge and any sane and patriotic Zambian should be hurting by these unethical standards with which our politicians treat the unsuspecting masses. While we are busy politicking, our friends in this very nation are in dire need of politicians who will speak on their behalf and not politicians who will only seek to advance their personal interests.
Dr Kambwili’s selective objectivity on this topical issue remains the greatest mystery of his engagement with the truth, which is why the Zambian people treat the truth coming from politicians relatively.
We believe this presents a real opportunity for the Zambian people to really know where and what Dr Kambwili stands for. It is only when political players remain objective can the Zambian people make their government address things. Political players should be scared of the political power bewildered by the Zambian people. Politicians must desist from hijacking political space to attack and paint citizens who ask them objective questions.
The fact is that we know exactly what’s at stake; we know it’s merely a contest for power, we know it has very little to do with fundamentals that affect the Zambian people but merely about power.
Why does it seem to us that Dr Kambwili and his team have the weaker voice on this issue. Is it that they have more to lose in speaking against this than the Zambian People. So, it would seem that if they want to keep their system, they will be friendlier to addressing the Zambian People’s concerns. It’s not wise to attack people for things on one hand tolerate the same things from our friends, it’s simply a COMPROMISE.
Dr Kambwili’s utterances lately risk being seen as a sugarcoated breakfast cereal that hides its true cost – it will cost FAR more than they are claiming. And that there is more reality beneath the rhetoric they are selling. We ask if at all they can be trusted.