Pete Henriot appears to think so. In a latest post he suggests three steps ordinary Zambians should take to hold Government to account vis-a-vis the Auditor General's Report :
So what should Zambian citizens, civil society organisations, churches, international donors and others concerned with good governance issues do with this AG’s Report?The first step is simple - every reader of this website has seen it. The second is challenging because those who have seen it (10k plus in February) have not commented or written any letters to the Government! The third presumably relates to the clarity of demands. If you ever write to the Government make sure it is clear.
First of all, read it! The printed volume is on sale; the on-line version is not yet available on the website of the Office of the Auditor General (why not??) but can be found through a simple Google search.
Second, discuss it in public forums, private conversations, talk shows, personal questions to government officials, letters to the editors of newspapers and magazines, etc., etc.
And third, make clear demands that the ordinary path of non-compliance with strong recommendations and non-response to clear calls for criminal actions to be taken against the thieves not be once again repeated. Let’s have fewer “regrets” expressed (pious affirmations that acknowledge wrong-doings but don’t commit to specific actions for right-doings!), and more “arrests” effected (clear punishments by way of dismissals, prosecutions and punishments!).
Henriot's piece is useful but it is worryingly incomplete. Simply arguing for Zambians to “speak out” against
these corrupt vices wont deliver change. I am a proponent of active citizenship, but I have never been deluded that simply calling on Zambians to shout will necessarily work. One of the many reasons why people find it difficult to signal effectively their discontent is that “good governance” is a non-excludable (public) good. We all want to have a good government but we are simply not willing to sacrifice all to see it happen. This problem applies not just to corruption but fixing local drainage systems!
The reason people don't get together and take forward positive local changes we desire is due to "coordination" problems coupled with the "genovese effect" (we all know poor drainage is costly to our communities in the long term, but we would rather someone else took the pain of sorting it out, rather than bear the cross for the entire community). That’s why governments exist to eliminate these "market failures". Unfortunately Zambia’s problem is one of too many "government failures"! So we are back to square one. What we need are solutions to these collective action problems - that calls for credible thinkers . These are made more challenging due to another problem - the Zambian poor are in rich Zambians' palm.