• In 2024, the UK will provide an additional £1 million to help step up the fight against corruption in Zambia.
• There is need for transparency, justice, and international cooperation to address the scourge of corruption.
• British firms now have a pipeline of planned investment of £2.5 billion more than double what is it was this time last year.
United Kingdom (UK) has announced that it will provide an additional £1 million or over K25 million to support Zambia’s efforts in the fight against corruption.
Speaking at the opening of the two-day Anti-Corruption Conference held in Livingstone, organised by Transparency International Zambia, British High Commissioner to Zambia Nicholas Woolley revealed that in 2024, the UK will provide an additional £1 million to help step up the fight against corruption in Zambia and bring perpetrators both past and present to justice.
Mr. Woolley emphasized the need for transparency, justice, and international cooperation to address the scourge of corruption.
“I’m pleased to announce today an increase in UK support for cooperation between the International Centre for Asset Recovery and Zambian law enforcement institutions.”
“It’s been heartening to see the levels of interest and investment coming into this country over the last 12 months, so important for jobs, livelihoods, and prosperity in Zambia. Indeed, from a UK perspective, British firms now have a pipeline of planned investment of £2.5 billion more than double what is it was this time last year” Mr. Woolley said.
He however stated that for such investments to be realized and sustained, more needs to be done to tackle the scourge of corruption that is present in all walks of life.
“Barely a week goes by without some scandal or allegations featuring in the media or some organisation or company coming to the High Commission to raise issues of governance. This is why the laws and regulations, institutions and practices that prevent opportunities for corruption and increase the cost to corrupt individuals are so vital. All are vital in helping to uphold the rule of law in Zambia.”
“Firstly, we must prevent institutions from being corrupted. This means building transparency, promoting standards and accountability, and raising awareness of corruption risks, and the measures that can reduce them. Without transparency, how can we scrutinize decisions? How can we ensure those entrusted with power fulfil their roles with integrity and ethics? How can the media accurately report to the public what is happening in their country?” he wondered.
He added that the UK and Zambia are working together to progress transnational investigations using the full force of their joint investigative powers, to make those partaking in corruption nervous.
Meanwhile, Mr. Woolley expressed happiness with government’s announcement that it has taken the Access to Information (ATI) Bill to Parliament for further consideration.
“This is an important step, but only a first step; supporting public institutions with provision of data, use of innovation and technology to broaden collection, and ensuring data is used effectively are also important. And the new law, if passed by the National Assembly, which we hope it will, it will mean nothing if it doesn’t have teeth.