Taking Back What Is Theirs – Ending the Predatory State

Cross-posted from The Global Sociology Blog.

I have already written about the predatory state in the case of Gabon. But here is an interesting story of what happens when a government fights back and demands retribution for predatory governance by a previous administration. This is what is happening in Zambia (via the BBC ):

“The Zambian government says it has recovered money and assets worth nearly $60m stolen during the rule of former President Frederick Chiluba.
The assets include bank deposits and an upmarket apartment in Belgium.
Information Minister Mike Mulongoti said the assets would be sold and the money used to upgrade hospitals.
Mr Mulongoti said the funds were recovered from former government officials who had served in Mr Chiluba’s administration.
Mr Chiluba is on trial at the Magistrates Court in Lusaka, charged with corruption.
In May last year, the High Court in Britain ruled that Mr Chiluba and four of his aides had conspired to rob Zambia of about $40 million.
The civil action was brought in Britain because the allegedly stolen money passed through bank accounts in London.
UK Judge Peter Smith said Zambians should know that when the former president appeared wearing his trademark designer clothes, they were paid for with public funds.”

And for a country like Zambia, $40 million is a lot of money. But what is certain is that former President Chiluba got away with it because of the relative impunity that rewards heads of state who are good students of the World Bank and IMF policies. During his tenure, President Chiluba contributed to the liberalization of the Zambian economy. Such measures have been disastrous for Zambia. This country was a middle-income country at the time of its independence. It now sits at the bottom of the list of every development indicator. What Zambia has going for it, though, is a relatively stable political situation, if it weren’t for its corruption problem (the fish rots at the top, obviously, and World Bank and IMF lending policies have enriched more than a few corrupt officials in developing countries).

Current president Mwanawasa has made the fight against corruption in general, and especially against the former Chiluba administration a central part of his governance. He has offered Chiluba a presidential pardon if Chiluba acknowledges the looting of the state coffers and returns 75% of the money. So far, without success.

Hmm… let’s see, a president prosecuting a former president and his administration for wrongdoings during his tenure. Sometimes, we should take lessons from other countries.

Bookmark and Share

Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Taking Back What Is Theirs – Ending the Predatory State

  1. coldH2Owi says:

    Too bad about your Mr. Gilbert problem.

  2. Gilbert Martinez says:

    On a somewhat related note, remember the big deal with Debt relief and all them concerts? How quickly we forget.

    Re: your last paragraph, Wes Clark gave a speech at Johns Hopkins and one of his main points is that in order for the US to regain international credibility, we needed to hold the people responsible for Iraq responsible. Not just the initial attack, but the bumbling afterward that led to pillaging and corruption. Those were the strongest words I’ve heard from a prominent Dem with any influence. Its no wonder why he was my first choice for president and why I chose to support the same person he did.

  3. Cold

    Too bad about your bad attitude.

  4. Gilbert Martinez says:

    Ya know, Pamela, cold reminds me of something we discussed in church when I was younger. The opposite of love wasn’t hate, but fear. When you are afraid of something, it often manifests itself in hate.

  5. myiq2xu says:

    I am afraid of an Obama Presidency, as well as to a lesser exetent, one headed by John MCain.

    Does that mean I am free to hate them both?

  6. coldH2Owi says:

    You’re correct Mr. Gilbert. But your wrong about the target. I’m afraid of people like you. Elites who take for granted that their ideas are the only ideas, their poverty is the only poverty, their education is the only education.

    Talk about bourgeois liberals. Pamela, you’re not putting out the fires with these two, too bad. It looked for awhile like you were coming to your sense concerning the nomination process.

  7. Here’s just one small example. The whole issue surrounding extending supposedly valuable security provisions is the inclusion of immunity for telecos. This, of course, would not really be a big deal except for the fact that a number of companies actually did break the law when asked to do so. Federal criminal law has an extremely expansive conspiracy statute, meaning that the administration can be prosecuted for conspiracy in the same case when the telecos are tried.

    Is any of this (and the list of similar and worse items is long) actually going to happen? We never got the Republic Presidents at the top of the two other criminal enterprises masquerading as governments but how much worse off would our country have been if there had not been any charges brought in either Watergate or Iran/Contra?

  8. Cold

    Read the Dsiclaimer at the top of the page. Take 2 asprin and then if you don’t get, don’t call me in the morning. Instead, try a cold shower since you seem to like cold water so much and are pretty much all wet most of the time with your assertions. If nothing else, you do keep us amused.

  9. coldH2Owi says:

    I’m glad you & Mr. Gilbert can laugh, what with the white hardworking folks, the I’ll take him at his word that he’s not a Muslim, & of course, bringing up the murder of Bobby Kennedy & then claiming she has the Kennedy’s on her mind because of Sen. Kennedy’s brain tumor, although she brought up the same statement earlier. You really need to do a bit of research concerning the real elites, the one’s who take their privilege for granted. Those petit–bourgeoisie who add nothing to the national life except, possibly, products we don’t need to buy. Laugh your cute little laughs & eat cake.

  10. Cold

    Bitter… much? Oh, I know all the time actually. You know I had a lovely day with friends today with plenty of pleasent conversation about all topics including politics. And then, I come home to find the moderation queue littered with various whines and moans from you. :rolls:

    Can you spare us the drama a little please.