21 June 2020: In his book: Anti-Corruption Tabloid Journalism in Africa, pp.21-37, Brian Chama – Sheridan College (Oakville)discusses anti-corruption tabloid journalism practice in Zambia arguing that it operates in an environment designed to shut tabloids down. He focuses on the copper shipment scandal in which copper revenues in millions of dollars were swindled over the period of several years through South Africa’s company Marcol, set up by Zambian government officials to inflate freight charges on shipments.
Brian looks at the slush fund scandal which involved the dishing out of money by President Frederick Chiluba’s regime using illegal offshore accounts which were fueled by the culture of brown envelopes popularly known as slush fund to hang on to power.
He discusses the Zamtel scandal in which Communications and Transport Minister Dora Siliya hired RP Capital Partners Limited to value Zamtel assets to sale seventy-five per cent of shares for US$257 million with the government only recovering US$15 million.
Brian concludes that there exists a culture of political patronage and corruption with impunity in Zambia among leaders making exposure by tabloid newspapers a serious risk that often results in arrests and imprisonment including the closure of tabloid newspapers.