Carte Blanche episodes – 2002

i] Beyers Naude – A Tribute;
ii] Dewald Pretorius – Small Beginnings – [ story of young SA A-side cricketer who grew up in an orphanage in Bloemfontein];
iii] Zambian Mischief – political shenanigans in current Zambian politics

ZAMBIAN MISCHIEF

July 20th 2002, and ex-Zambian President Frederick Chiluba is a tired and stressed man. In the last fortnight, he has been accused by his successor – President Levy Mwanawasa – of massive corruption – when in a special sitting of parliament and under a declaration of a ‘zero tolerance stance on corruption’ – Mwanawasa presented a list of damning accusations against Chiluba – including twenty million dollars squandered on a phantom arms deal, thirty five million dollars undeclared in the sale of State Copper Mines & one million dollars paid to Chiluba’s personal tailor.

At this special sitting, Mwanawasa asked parliament to lift Chiluba’s immunity from prosecution – which had Chiluba scrambling for a court interdict in desperate defence of his very life. These developments are a bitter irony for Chiluba who after ten years in office had tried to manipulate the political system to stay in power for another term. When this attempt was thwarted, Chiluba hand-picked Mwanawasa to succeed him – believing they would work in covert partnership.

But the underlying question goes to who really is the good guy & who the villain – is Mwanawasa’s declaration of ‘zero tolerance’ for real or is it just a ploy to eliminate those who pose a threat to power-base?

It is widely believed that he illegally used large amounts of government funds to finance his lavish election campaign – in an election that the majority of Zambians believe was rigged.

For the people of Zambia – over the past forty years – from Kaunda to Mwanawasa via Chiluba – the ongoing constant, blighting their lives is seemingly Government Corruption – and against this backdrop of endemic ‘national mischief’ – despite billions of dollars of international aid, everyday Zambians remain poor with corruption filtering into every aspect of their lives.