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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Better Policing (Corruption), 2nd Edition

Yet another entry for our "corruption watch" thread. The Government claims to have apparently "unearthed a scam" involving the Zambia Police to the tune of K8bn. Article reproduced below from the Daily Mail (link may disappear):
Government has unearthed a scam in which billions of Kwacha were misapplied in the purchase of police escort vehicles. Minister of Home Affairs, Lameck Mangani said in Lusaka yesterday that investigations are already underway in the scam suspected to involve about K8 billion.

He said some tender procedures were allegedly flouted during the purchase of the police vehicles. Mr Mangani said Government is now owing billions of Kwacha in unpaid monies to a South Africa-based motor vehicle supplier. He said there is need to verify details surrounding the vehicle transaction.

Mr Mangani said culprits will be taken to task once found wanting. The transaction involves the purchase of latest BMW motor bikes and saloon cars used for VIP escorts.
The level of scams that are being unearthed is truly staggering. At what point should we ask the obvious question - Is there a section of our Government [Executive, Legislature and Judiciary] that is not corrupt? This website certainly has enough stories in the archives that demonstrates that each of the three branches of government have shown evidence of either open corruption or deep susceptibility to being lobbied (a much worse form of corruption - since detection is hard!).

Whether corruption in Zambia has got worse is an open question! I think if corruption is defined ex-post (i.e. after detection) then corruption in Zambia is getting worse because whilst detection may have improved, as one friend repeatedly argues, its appears to be having no effect in reducing cases being discovered. The counter argument of course is that there's a "lagging effect". In other words, the fight against corruption is working, but we wont see its fruits until 2010, 2011, etc. But this begs an obvious question : when did such a fight against corruption begin?

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