The exposé that Lusaka Minister, Bowman Lusambo, made on Traffic Police to an extent of embarrassing them in front of cameras and a horde of journalists is totally hypocritical, uncalled for and just a distraction from real issues affecting the nation.
In as much as we appreciate that Traffic Police can be very corrupt and such a nuisance, the step taken by Mr. Lusambo was done out of overzealousness and aimed at making gains on his political mileage, nothing more than that. We all know that K2,250 found with the officers is nothing compared to what these guys have gobbled in the last 2 years.
There exists a proper channel in the Ministry of Home Affairs with which erring Police Officers are dealt with, and it is by far not the way the Honourable Minister did it.
The Officers were made to look like common thieves in front of citizens that should ordinarily respect them. These officers have been stripped off of any respect in society and if investigations prove them guilty, nothing less than being retired in National interest will suffice as they can no longer work with dignity even with a long suspension from service.
But this is what happens when systems are not followed to correct the wrongs in the service. This also happens when you have an inept Anti Corruption Commission that takes zero action on obvious corruption cases if there isn’t an instruction from above. Had the Commission been strong on matters of illegal roadblocks, no Officer would have been seen mounting any roadblocks today.
Who can blame these officers for mounting an illegal roadblock when we have the entire Presidency that encourages “ubomba mwibala, alila mwibala” types of principles? We can imagine the officers reciting that slogan as they jumped onto their traffic police vehicle on their way to mount a roadblock.
Lusambo should not fool us into believing that he detests corruption. Had he detested it, he would have made noise on numerous instances of corruption in the government before chasing after a K2,250 from Police Officers. He would have actually joined Pilato and Laura Miti in the demonstration of the fire trucks scandal. He would have been in the forefront asking why Ambulances cost over $250,000. This is the man who was already a minister amidst the Mukula saga, but he said nothing.
Lusambo cannot therefore come and pretend to be on a corruption cleansing spree when him and his government are definitions of corruption itself.
To our brothers in the civil service as a whole, we strongly advise you to stay away from corrupt activities not only because it is wrong, but also because your leaders will stop at nothing to embarrass you once you’re caught.