Chiluba in the dock: A new era for African transparency? (Cover Story).As former Zambian President, Federick Chiluba, fights for his freedom and political life, the question being asked throughout Africa is whether the time has finally come when corrupt leaders will be made to answer for their crimes.
It was probably coincidental, coming simultaneously with the inauguration of the African Union African Union (AU), international organization established in 2002 by the nations of the former Organization of African Unity (OAU). The AU is the successor organization to the OAU, with greater powers to promote African economic, social, and political integration, and its promise to cleanse the continent of wrongdoing wrong·do·er
One who does wrong, especially morally or ethically.
wrongdo in high places, but it added substance to the ideals of transparency; human rights observance and democracy enshrined in the AU's fledgling charter.
Even so, news that Zambia's new President, Levy Mwanawasa Levy Patrick Mwanawasa (born September 3, 1948) has served as the President of Zambia since 2002. Early life
Mwanawasa was born in Mufulira, the second of 10 children. He holds a law degree from the University of Zambia. had withdrawn legal immunity from former Head of State, Frederick Chiluba “Chiluba” redirects here. For the language, see Tshiluba language.
Frederick Jacob Titus Chiluba (born April 30, 1943) served as the President of Zambia from 1991 to 2002, when Zambians elected former Vice President Levy Mwanawasa as his successor. and that criminal charges could follow came as surprise to the gathering of Africa's supremos in Durban, South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. , in July, there to launch the African Union. Few, if any, had anticipated the move.
Inevitably the breakthrough against corrupt governance came in Zambia, Africa's most democratic state. It was all the more dramatic because Chiluba had, before the election of Levy Mwanawasa as Zambian President, been chairman of the OAU OAU
Organization of African Unity
OAU n abbr (= Organization of African Unity) → OUA f
OAU n abbr (= Organization of African Unity . That so august a member of the African brotherhood of leaders could face conviction for theft by his countrymen sent shock waves through the meeting.
President Mwanawasa's attempt to rid Zambia of corruption in government by, most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially , stripping Chiluba of executive privilege executive privilege, exemption of the executive branch of government, or its officers, from having to give evidence, specifically, in U.S. law, the exemption of the president from disclosing information to congressional inquiries or the judiciary. is a first in Africa. Never before has an African leader been publicly taken to task for dishonesty, been denied constitutional immunity and threatened with imprisonment Imprisonment
See also Isolation.
former federal maximum security penitentiary, near San Francisco; “escapeproof.” [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 218]
German prison ship in World War II. [Br. Hist. .
When Zambian lawmakers voted 140-0 to lift the immunity enjoyed by the former President, it cleared the way for a thorough investigation into allegations that Chiluba and certain members of his administration looted the national treasury of millions of dollars for self-enrichment. Chiluba immediately filed a high court injunction against Mwanawasa's action. That outcome is awaited. Zambian law protects former Heads of State from criminal prosecution and arrest.
The vote took place after the government gave in to pressure from lawmakers and some 6,000 protesters massed outside the parliament building in Lusaka, capital of the southern African state. Both members of parliament and the crowd outside the building burst into songs and dance soon after the results were announced. Elements of the crowd shouted that the vote had been a victory for democracy and had set a precedent for Africa, as previously no African leader had been made answerable an·swer·a·ble
1. Subject to being called to answer; accountable. See Synonyms at responsible.
2. That can be answered or refuted: an answerable charge.
3. for graft. The move did not inculpate To accuse; to involve in blame or guilt.
When an individual who has committed a crime imputes guilt upon another individual, he or she is thereby inculpating such individual.
TO INCULPATE. To accuse one of a crime or misdemeanor. the former leader but paved the way for an investigation.
Mwanawasa patently is not after Chiluba's blood. He just wants Zambia's money back. He has offered to stop all prosecution if his predecessor returns assets taken from the country. Mwanawasa was quoted by government newspapers as saying that if Chiluba agrees, "I will be ready to put my head on the chopping board. I will say it is not right to send him to prison".
It may not be as simple as that. Now that the alleged cat is out of the bag and Chiluba's protection is in danger of being stripped away, he could be sued by any aggrieved Zambian citizen, and there are plenty of those now that the blood-letting has begun. He could also be charged by the director of public prosecutions Director of Public Prosecutions n → fiscal m/f general del Estado
Director of Public Prosecutions direct (Brit) n → Generalstaatsanwalt m if he finds merit in Mwanawasa's charges against him.
The President can only pardon him once he has been found guilty and convicted, a process that could be protracted pro·tract
tr.v. pro·tract·ed, pro·tract·ing, pro·tracts
1. To draw out or lengthen in time; prolong: disputants who needlessly protracted the negotiations.
2. and messy, and seriously tarnish tarnish,
n 1. surface discoloration or loss of luster by metals. Under oral conditions, it often results from hard and soft deposits.
2. a chemical process by which a metal surface is discolored or its luster destroyed. Zambia's reputation internationally. Mwanawasa, however, appears ready to take that chance, reckoning that so decisive a move against corruption in the administration will do more good than harm in the eyes of the world community.
HEAD ON THE CHOPPING BOARD
Chiluba, on the other hand, will not simply roll over and die. He is a fearsome opponent and not one to walk away from a fight. Said one politician: "Chiluba's a street fighter. He knows all the tricks." The diminutive politician has already drawn a line in the sand and challenged Mwanawasa to come up with the proof of his wrongdoing. He also says that if his immunity is lifted, he wants to see the same immunity withdrawn for the country's first President after independence, Kenneth Kaunda Noun 1. Kenneth Kaunda - statesman who led Northern Rhodesia to full independence as Zambia in 1964 and served as Zambia's first president (1924-1999)
Kaunda, Kenneth David Kaunda , as well as that of Mwanawasa. He claims to have evidence of wrong-doings by Kaunda.
The labour leader turned politician has strongly denied that he tried to scam the government out of millions of dollars. He has insisted that he had only acted in Zambia's best interests during his 10 years in office. He called the threat to remove his immunity an affront to Zambia's democracy and an "an indicator of the slowly degenerating record of human rights observance."
Some charges stem from a $90m defence contract for the Congo to supply Zambia with military hardware. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Mwanawasa's charges, Chiluba agreed to an initial payment of $20m, but then failed to collect the weaponry and the money was never recovered.
He might also have to account for the $47m that went missing during the privatisation of the Roan Antelope (Zool.) a very large South African antelope (Hippotragus equinus). It has long sharp horns and a stiff bright brown mane. Called also mahnya ltname>, equine antelope ltname>, and bastard gemsbok ltname>.
See also: Roan Copper mines. Chiluba described the charges as "a figment fig·ment
Something invented, made up, or fabricated: just a figment of the imagination.
[Middle English, from Latin figmentum, from fingere, of the imagination Other allegations rejected by Chiluba concern the theft of nearly 60 truckloads of gas imported by Zambia from South Africa two years ago, and the diverting of government cash from a London bank account to members of his family. The ex-President hit back at Mwanawasa, accusing him of using state funds to pay for his wife to travel to New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of .
Mwanawasa's vendetta vendetta (vĕndĕt`ə) [Ital.,=vengeance], feud between members of two kinship groups to avenge a wrong done to a relative. Although the term originated in Corsica, the custom has also been practiced in other parts of Italy, in other against Chiluba is a curious one and not without its irony. President Mwanawasa was Chiluba's hand-picked successor, but since taking office he has aggressively investigated Chiluba's alleged misdemeanours.
Frederick Chiluba came to power in 1990 after ousting Kenneth Kaunda in a relatively peaceful general election that proved that long-standing, former liberation heroes could be ousted by the ballot box and not only by the gun. Kaunda stepped down graciously and Chiluba took up the reins, a champion who promised to lead Zambia into a new era of political stability and economic recovery.
Along the way, he appointed Levy Mwanawasa to his cabinet, but the 53-year-old lawyer resigned soon after, citing government corruption and mismanagement mis·man·age
tr.v. mis·man·aged, mis·man·ag·ing, mis·man·ag·es
To manage badly or carelessly.
mis·manage·ment n. as his reasons. He returned to his law firm.
When Chiluba failed in his bid to stand for a third five-year Presidential term, he surprised the nation by naming Mwanawasa to succeed him. The ensuing election was Zambia's dirtiest ever, shot through with charges of ballot box fraud, violence and bitterness.
Zambia's hustings HUSTINGS, Engl. law. The name of a court held before the lord mayor and aldermen of London; it is the principal and supreme court of the city., See 2 Inst. 327; St. Armand, Hist. Essay on the Legisl. Power of England, 75. were never like this, and Mwanawasa eventually emerged as the narrowest of victors, actually starting his term with minority support. It took high court action to finally seat him in the President's chair, although other results, still being contested in the courts, could cause a constitutional schism in the ruling order.
Just months into his rule, Mwanawasa charged Chiluba with corruption and overturned the constitutional immunity that shielded the ex-President against such action. Chiluba quickly turned to the high court for a judicial review to declare parliament's action as unconstitutional. And that's where matters stand until the court hearing set down for August 16.
OTHERS CAUGHT IN THE FLAK
The flack of accusations and counter accusations has already seen political casualties. Katele Kalumba, Foreign Minister in Mwanawasa's government and Finance Minister under Chiluba, resigned from his post minutes before President Mwanawasa urged parliament to strip Chiluba of his immunity. Rumours, apparently fuelled by a radio report, quickly spread that he had committed suicide but it then emerged that in fact he was alive and well in his constituency in Chiengi.
Another casualty in Mwanawasa's purge is Zambia's former Chief Justice, Mathews Ngulube. Announcing the resignation of Ngulube, President Mwanawasa said he would go on indefinite leave pending retirement. He would receive no benefits. On August 6, the former Chief Justice appeared before a task force probing corruption under the Chiluba regime.
The task force, chaired by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mukelabai Mukelabai comprises members of the Zambian Police, the Anti-Corruption Commission, Drug Enforcement Commission, Zambia Revenue Authority and the Zambia Intelligence Service. Others who have appeared before the Task Force include former Foreign Minister Katele Kalumba, and Chiluba's former economics advisor, Donald Chanda.
On August 9, parliament ratified the appointment of Ernest Sakala as the country's Chief Justice.
In a related development, Zambia's envoy to the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , Atan Shansonga, and the country's former intelligence chief, Xavier Chungu, were arrested for their alleged roles in Chiluba's financial scandals. Businessman Faustin Kabwe, who allegedly masterminded crooked financial deals for the former President, has also been charged.
These are turbulent, intriguing times in Zambia, but it is, according to Peter Bruce, editor of South Africa's Business Day newspaper precisely in circumstances like these that the first tentative steps towards campaigning against corruption have to be taken. It will clearly not be an easy task given the perplexing per·plex
tr.v. per·plexed, per·plex·ing, per·plex·es
1. To confuse or trouble with uncertainty or doubt. See Synonyms at puzzle.
2. To make confusedly intricate; complicate. interplay of personal animosity and revenge, he says.
ZAMBIA IDEAL TEST CASE
Zambia is, however, an important indicator of the success or otherwise of the African Union. It has all the hallmarks of the African experience: an economy not yet recovered from the aggressive nationalism and the collapse of commodity prices for products such as copper, its main export, in the 1960s; an untested political and legal system still reeling from the one-man rule that was so much part of Africa in the post-independence era; devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. poverty made worse by AIDS and poorly-developed corruption-fighting ability. It is the one country in Africa that has stuck resolutely to the often harsh and punishing structural economic reforms imposed upon it by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
Yet Zambia holds an important place in post-independence Africa, punching far above its own weight by virtue of its role in the freedom struggle in southern Africa
This is the terrain within which Africa's fight against corruption has to take root if it is to be successful. Whether or not other African countries learn anything from what Zambia is currently going through is yet to be seen. Unwittingly or not, President Mwanawasa is playing exactly by the rules laid down by the African Union charter on how corruption and theft by political leaders should be dealt with.
But real life in Africa rarely follows the rules. All too often, incoming leaders have promised to take action against their predecessors but once in office, have found excuses not to pursue former corrupt office holders. The reasons are many and varied. In most African countries, corruption has become a well-tried system that seems to work on its own volition vo·li·tion
1. The act or an instance of making a conscious choice or decision.
2. A conscious choice or decision.
3. The power or faculty of choosing; the will. . The chain of 'beneficiaries' is long and reaches out deep into society. Thus while the public enjoys the spectacle of a 'big man' being exposed as corrupt, some sections of the population are worried least the baby gets thrown out with the bath-water and they are left with severe dents in their monthly income. In addition, once the finger begins to point, no one is sure where it will stop.
RELATED ARTICLE: The case for peer review
Is being held accountable by your peers and friends for your actions and inaction another means toward good governance The terms governance and good governance are increasingly being used in development literature. Governance describes the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented). ? Its proponents say it is; its critics cynically observe that being reviewed by fellow despots and cronies is hardly a step in the right direction.
Be that as it may, peer review is central to the new mood of the continent embodied in the African Union and, more importantly, in the New Partnership for Africa's Development New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is an economic development program of the African Union. The NEPAD was adopted at the 37th session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in July 2001 in Lusaka, Zambia. (Nepad).
Mathatha Tsedu, chairman of the SA Editors Forum, welcomes the principle of peer review, but calls for qualification. He asks the question: "Who will tell President Robert Mugabe Mugabe redirects here.
For other uses, see Mugabe (disambiguation).
Robert Gabriel Mugabe KCB (born on February 21, 1924) is the President of Zimbabwe. He has been the head of government in Zimbabwe since 1980, first as Prime Minister that he has gone off the rails, or King Mswati III that he should allow Swazis to have a say in how they are ruled? Who will tell General Omar Ahmad Omar Ahmad is the founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He had been the chairman of CAIR's board of directors since its founding in 1994, but stepped down from that position in May, 2005. ]. . Al-Bashir of Sudan that slavery was outlawed in 1834?" He also notes that the AU inaugural summit in Durban in July was attended by OAU members that included "unsavoury characters who become members of the AU by default, not by qualification".
Nepad probably has a better chance of succeeding as a peer reviewer. The recent G8 summit in Canada ended with world leaders For a list of heads of state, see .
World leaders is a MMORPG. The game involves creating a state, joining an alliance and going into war. It is mostly played by players from Israel, China, USA, Britain, Brazil and Saudi-Arabia. signing a development deal with Africa on the basis of Nepad's pledge to clean governance. Simply put, that means that those governments who meet the criteria of honest, transparent and democratic rule will benefit from the G8 deal. In Tsedu's view: "Nepad must not be another club comprising all African leaders. It must accept only those who meet the criteria of clean and democratic government. It must be the home of leaders who buy into the philosophy of peer review. Anything less will mean that the AU is the OAU without the big O."
* African leaders not for sale
Why is corruption so endemic in the developing world? Is it because Africans and other developing world peoples are more susceptible to it compared to the developed world? Not so, according to social studies. In fact, Africans in particular have a very highly developed sense of communal responsibility and honour.
* Is it because Africans are more acquisitive than others? Again the answer is in the negative. The desire for wealth and possession is most highly developed in the north and is often seen as an end in itself in Africa, wealth is seen as a means of gaining social status within a communal set-up.
Africans are some of the most generous people in the world and those who have achieved a measure of success are expected to, and do, support a whole phalanx phalanx, ancient Greek formation of infantry. The soldiers were arrayed in rows (8 or 16), with arms at the ready, making a solid block that could sweep bristling through the more dispersed ranks of the enemy. of relatives, neighbours, age-mates and inhabitants
The game is based loosely on the concepts from SameGame. from their original villages.
* Is it because Africans are more prone to crookedness? Another myth. Stealing was unknown in Africa before colonialism because the concept of private property did not exist. You did not own, you used what you needed. It was only when Africans learnt the harsh reality Harsh Reality are a little-known, proto-prog band born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire out of the remnants of the Freightliner Blues Band (formerly the Revolution) in the early sixties. of 'private property', when their land, and resources were forcibly taken from them that they set out to regain what was theirs.
* Is it because Africans do not take their professional duties seriously? Here there is a yes and no answer, One must remember that for several centuries of colonial rule, the foreign 'governments' systematically robbed the people in all ways including through unfair taxes. So to 'trip up' the government was considered an admirable thing to do.
Despite gaining independence, the structures of government remain similar to those left behind by the colonialists and the economic structure has hardly changed. This has created a psychological schism, a feeling that there is little or nothing you can do for your people unless you get the green light from the Big Powers.
But, as the current situation in Zambia clearly shows, a new breed of leaders is refusing to follow the trend. There is a growing desire for Africans to deal with their problems themselves-and the consequences can go hang. The new leadership preferes dignity even if it means poverty to wealth by selling their countries' interests. African leaders are not for sale to anybody for any price. End of corruption.