Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) Chapter president, Lee Habasonda, says there is need to have Zambia a corruption-free zone as a way of attaining national development.
ZANIS reports that Mr Habasonda made the remarks during the launch of TI 2015 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which is taking place in 120 countries simultaneously.
Mr Habasonda said the launch of CPI should not be taken for granted but should be the day to take stock of the successes and failures recorded in the fight against corruption.
He added that TI-Z is directly linked to promoting transparency, accountability and integrity which will better the lives of citizens.
“The key objectives of the Corruption Perception Index are to enhance comparative understanding of levels of public sector corruption and to create public awareness of corruption and create a climate for change, to offer a snapshot of the views of business-people and experts that make decisions about trade and investment and also to stimulate scientific research and complementary diagnostic analysis on causes and consequences of corruption, both at international and national level,” Mr Habasonda explained.
He said Zambia was first surveyed and included in the CPI in 2001 with the view of challenging government and all stakeholders to put the fight against corruption at the centre of national development.
Mr Habasonda appealed especially to the media to help clean up the political space of dishonesty and lack of accountability because Zambia has performed badly in the past few years on the continent.
He stated that a total of 168 countries are included in the 2015 CPI and that 82 countries performed better than Zambia in the 2015 CPI out of 168 countries.
Mr Habasonda said the CPI 2015 demonstrates that all countries still face the threat of corruption at all levels of government from the issuing of local permits to the enforcement of laws and regulations.
He added that even the private sector has not been spared, siting the recent revelations from the Zambia National Farmers Union and Football Association of Zambia which are a clear indication that the fight against corruption is a troubled one and that there is need to urgently do something about it.
Mr Habasonda said the CPI results for Zambia are a clear message to all citizens that corruption has continued to destroy all the positive efforts of bringing back the lost values of a decent society.
He further stated that there is need to see strong political leadership that would see strategies of addressing corruption in areas such as public procurement and put an end to the reported corruption in the construction sector.
Mr Habasonda has since urged the nation to further put its energies to the current efforts of responding to climate change, economic crisis and extreme poverty.