Power and Politics

President Hichilema urges judiciary to impose harsher sentences on corrupt individuals


President Hakainde Hichilema has appealed to the judiciary to consider giving punitive sentences to individuals found guilty of engaging in corruption.

Hichilema said this move would send a strong message to those considering similar activities now and in the near future

The Head of State made these remarks during the launch of the National Policy on Anti-Corruption at Mulungushi Conference Centre in Lusaka on Friday.

He said that the government remained committed to fighting the scourge that had seen a lot of national resources embezzled by a corrupt few.

“It leads to misunderstandings in society for the judiciary to convict someone who stole a cow for 14 years, but someone who steals US$10 million from the government is convicted for 3 years only or even less,” Hichilema noted.

He also claimed that since assuming office, the new administration had put in place measures such as the fast track court, asset recovery and forfeiture laws.

Hichilema stated that the country had seen many properties being recovered, pledging that this would continue.

Read More: ‘Never again!’ Hichilema vows to stop corruption, empowers judiciary to despatch cases within a space of 5 months

“Corruption is the same as stealing and therefore, we must all get involved in stamping it out,” the Head of State restated.

He acknowledged public sentiments expressed via social and mainstream media, suggesting that the fight against corruption had been relaxed but assured the nation that the government was not relaxing at all.

“We are fighting past, present and future corruption. If anyone who engaged in corruption is arrested and convicted, they must not cry victim, political persecution, or indeed persecution because when committing these crimes, they did so in their individual capacity and not as a family or indeed group,” Hichilema stated.

Hichilema expressed confidence that with the launch of the National Policy on Anti-Corruption, more results would be achieved.

He noted that the corrupt have a tendency to cry victim and use stolen government money to seek sympathy from innocent citizens.

“We must remain firm and deal with these matters with the firm hand of the law. Let’s join hands and fight corruption regardless of who was, who is, and who will be involved,” Hichilema said.

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