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Spooked by Uncle Sam’s amnesty



MUCKRAKER knew it was only a matter of time before someone screamed about something in Uncle Sam’s speech.

They are now clutching on point 17 of Uncle Sam’s inauguration speech where he said the government will “establish and publicise a corruption, theft and embezzlement amnesty programme in 30 days”.

The opposition is shouting and screaming, accusing the new government of plotting to forgive thieves.

The hypocrisy of it is astounding and the holier-than-thou attitude disgusting.

The same people now shedding crimson tears over the proposed amnesty were folding their arms while government money was looted hand over fist.

We are told that the previous government could not account for M6.1 billion.

Muckraker doesn’t believe all that money was stolen but there is no doubt that substantial amounts grew legs and marched out of the government’s bank account.

While that was happening the government, which is now the opposition, never raised alarm. Only the unlucky small crooks were arrested by the toothless bulldog called the DCEO.

They were probably nabbed because they were now competing with the big boys to steal from the government.

The rule is simple: civil servants should not steal too much because ministers and politicians hate competition.

Even former ministers who didn’t say a word to condemn endemic corruption in the government are now complaining about an amnesty whose modalities are yet to be announced.

Muckraker abhors corruption but is pragmatic. We have failed to catch and prosecute thieves in this country. Those caught have either been acquitted after the prosecution slept on the job or got away with trivial sentences.

It’s either we are unable to catch thieves or we don’t want to. Effect amount to the same. Over the past decade, there has not been any major prosecution for corruption. Nothing! Nada!

Dozens of cases have ended in embarrassing failure for the prosecution. Thieves have been laughing as they enjoy their loot.

Nothing deters other thieves from dipping their hands in the cookie jar. There is therefore nothing wrong with the carrot-and-stick approach Uncle Sam is planning.

If anything, it might help the country recover a few millions.

Nothing stops the government from vigorously pursuing those who think are too clever and hold on to their loot.

Other countries like Tanzania have offered the same amnesty to thieves and recovered millions. Revenue authorities, including our very own, use it for tax dodgers. The outrage over the suggested amnesty is therefore overdone.

So just cut the crap and wait to see if anyone will take up the amnesty offer before running your mouth. You were in government a few weeks ago. You were wining and dining with the same thieves. Drink some water and calm down.

Nka! Ichuuuuuuuuuuu!

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