Revered lawyer Kamudoni Nyasulu has faulted the Tonse Alliance for failing to provide the required leadership for the fight against corruption.
In an analytical write-up, the former director of public prosecutions who later worked as a United Nations tribunal prosecutor and more recently a private prosecutor for the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) argues that the leadership has a mountain of resources and advice to tap what needs to be done to fight corruption.
Nyasulu said: “I refuse to accept that our political and institutional leadership has provided leadership required for the fight against corruption. Instead, there has been concerted scapegoating, shifting of blame and shifting of responsibility.
“The leadership has been offered mountains of informal and formal advice since inauguration of the Presidency which has gone to waste.
“As early as the inauguration day 4 July 2020, the Office of the President was presented with a concept on how to deal with the frauds and scams in the outstanding backlog of cases with an estimated value of K3 trillion which was later also submitted to the Ministry of Justice.”
He said he believed some elements in the leadership, especially in the political and accountability institutions, were under State capture or compromised, but such elements were a minority of the country’s political, strategic and or technical leadership of the accountability institutions.
Nyasulu said in the last 18 months the political leadership has bragged about increased funding and personnel to accountability institutions and a planned financial crimes court, yet the institutions “have persistently complained of delays in the Judiciary, delays in establishment of the financial crimes court, delays in disbursement of funding and interference”.
He said it was unfortunate that government has not taken advantage of the many proposed action plans to improve the response to corruption.
Nyasulu cited previous corruption conferences which came up with recommendations, action plans drawn after Cashgate and recently a wave of advice in form of pastoral letters from churches,civil society, the academia and social media influencers, saying all this provided the leadership with the right resource of information to make better decisions.
His write-up has come close to the expiry of President Lazarus Chakwera’s 21-day ultimatum he gave ACB to submit a report on its investigations of United Kingdom-based businessperson Zuneth Sattar in a case where some senior government officials are allegedly implicated.
In a written response on Sunday, Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency executive director Willy Kambwandira shared Nyasulu’s observation and said the President has not demonstrated leadership worth the trust in the fight against corruption.
He said: “It is indeed only the President who can do more in terms of demonstrating leadership, give courage and empowerment to the anti-corruption agencies and CSOs. With sufficient political will, the war against corruption can be won.”
ACB and the State House have not responded to our inquiry on the status of the report.