Corruption has been and still is a significant impediment to good governance in Zambia. Since attaining independence in 1964, successive Governments have instituted legal, institutional, economic, and social reforms, which have largely aimed at enhancing good governance for improved public service deliver and contribution to economic and social development.
In March 2000, the government launched the National Capacity Building Programme for good governance in Zambia. This programme and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper acknowledged that corruption is a serious governance challenge, which significantly contributes to poor public service deliver and affects economic and social development in Zambia. In 2004, the Government launched the national Governance Baseline Survey Report. The report provided a firm empirical basis for developing a comprehensive anti-corruption policy and appropriate anti-corruption measures in Zambia in order to take the anti-corruption fight to a higher level.
And this higher level saw the development of the National Anti-Corruption Policy approved and launched by the President of the Republic of Zambia His Excellency Mr Rupia Bwezani Banda on the 27th August 2009. The Policy which is the first ever comprehensive policy on corruption in Zambia, provides a framework for developing ways and means of preventing and combating corruption in a comprehensive co-ordinated, inclusive, and sustainable manner.
The Government recognizes that the increased prevalence of corruption has negative effects on the country’s efforts to enhance socio-economic and political development. Corruption tends to limit citizens access to free public goods and services and reduces freedom of political choice in elections. Corruption can also be linked to the escalation of poverty, as the prevalence of corrupt practices socially excludes the poor from freely accessing public goods and services.
The Government’s socio-economic and political reforms and programmes have consistently recognised the need to put in place good governance measures. The measures involve institutional reform, legal reforms and, social mobilisation programmes undertaken by both public bodies and non-governmental organisations. These measures seek to address the legal, institutional and social weaknesses that provide opportunities for corruption. In addition, they seek to strengthen public accountability and transparency.
The Government has recognised the negative effects of corruption on the citizenry. Therefore, it is imperative that the anti-corruption efforts must take an effective, acceptable, harmonised and coordinated approach. In doing this, the Government has developed a policy, which is a course of action that provides effective and acceptable legal, institutional, and social interventions. The Policy outlines the situation analysis, the vision, rationale, guiding principles, objectives, measures, and implementation framework.
‘A Nation and Its People That Are Zero Tolerant To Corruption’
The Government and the people of Zambia recognise the need to have a corrupt-free society where accessibility to cost effective public goods and services will be enhanced.
The rationale in developing the National Anti-Corruption Policy was that the existing legal and institutional framework did not match the aspirations for a corrupt free society. This was because of lack of a central unifying and harmonizing framework in form of a national agenda for action against Corruption. Each anti-corruption player seemed to be acting on their own.
The Policy provides for harmonized and coordinated efforts against corruption. The objectives are defined at the legal, institutional and social levels of the Policy.
The Anti-Corruption Commission recently undertook a review of the indicators obtaining in the NACP Implementation Plan and a report has since been released to the public. (Review of NACP Indicators and Baseline Surveys Report)