AKASHAMBATWA Mbikusita Lewanika says with corruption, the independence of African nations is actually meaningless.
Mbikusita-Lewanika, a veteran politician and former minister, said Zambia and Africa need revolutionary solutions to all the problems.
He said corruption fuelled and worsened the impoverishment situation of a nation.
In a keynote address to the 16th Annual Business Conference for the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA), ACCA and CIMA, Mbikusita-Lewanika said in future Africa must be free from social domination, economic underdevelopment, as well as being devoured by endemic corruption.
“With corruption, the independence of African nations is actually meaningless in terms of freedom from political oppression, social domination, and economic underdevelopment. If you live in a society which is corrupt, you are cheating yourself that you are not oppressed,” Mbikusita-Lewanika said.
He said even the oppressors got oppressed by the system.
Mbikusita-Lewanika said even the corrupt people suffered from corruption in that the vice affected medical, educational services, and caused damage to infrastructure such as roads, which get to be riddled with potholes.
He told the accountants at Avani Hotel on Wednesday that the fight against corruption was an essential part of Africa’s independence struggle.
Lewanika noted that despite several arrests of corrupt people, the vice still goes on.
“The fight against corruption is too serious a war to only be left to people in political leadership, or indeed any one sector of national leaders. It is a war conducted in all political and economic fields and it is not only in political governance but also in economic and social fields,” Lewanika said.
He urged accountants not to be confronted with reformist challenges but look at the root causes of all problems.
Lewanika said reformist solutions to Zambia’s problems had already been tried and they failed.
“The solutions to the root causes cannot be reformist, they have to be revolutionary. If you are scared of a revolution, you are maintaining the status quo. If you are maintaining the status quo, you have no quarrel with all the problems that we have,” he said.
Lewanika said proofing future leaders was vital because the future was something that leaders could not be vaccinated against like polio. He was referencing to the conference’s theme “Future Proofing Business Leaders beyond the 21st Century.”
“The future is the eagerly awaited witness of missions fulfilled, the future is actually leadership, so it is not something that you should proof yourself and fear. Leaders have to be identified, prepared, and deployed to create with the people a future that fulfills problems and solution needs,” he said.
Lewanika noted that there was an inability by leaders to rise to the hallmark of true leaders.
He advised political leaders that if they didn’t like corruption they must not be corrupt.
“If you can’t solve all the corruption in the world, look in the mirror and solve the corruption you are faced with,” he said.
ZICA president Jason Kazilimani said accountants needed to remain relevant with the onset of technological advancements that threaten the business viability of certain aspects of the profession such as bookkeeping.
He urged the accountants to perfect their skills so as to provide synergies, which would act as a springboard for technological advancements.