Thursday, August 13, 2009
I thought that the news about Zambia's former president, Frederick Chiluba, going on trial for corruption was good. Now, The Guardian reports, charged with theft of public resources, Chiluba will likely be convicted tomorrow and probably face 5 years in jail. Assuming a fair trial and that every procedure was adhered to, this is really fantastic news. An African country taking a former president to court, accepting that he was guilty, judging him, and then allowing him to be punished (we hope), is a phenomenal achievement of that country's justice system. I will watch the continued reporting of this with care and with hope. I believe, morally, that other African states should follow Zambia's example and leave no stone unturned when it comes to corrupt officials. Economically, I am less convinced that specific types of corruption do much to impede growth. Nevertheless, I hope that investors respond to the conviction and support Zambia during the current crisis and in future endeavours to investigate and convict corrupt officials.