Muchinga, being a new province, has great possibilities to make itself the least corrupt province of our country.

And Muchinga Province cannot afford to be founded on corruption because it is today probably the poorest of our provinces - after Western Province. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in Muchinga to build the necessary infrastructure.

This is the province that is starting with virtually nothing other than a great history, a history of courage and honesty. The headquarters of Muchinga Province, Chinsali, despite being one of the oldest districts in our country is today one of the poorest.

Kenneth Kaunda, the founder of our Republic, hails from Chinsali. And so do Simon Kapwepwe, Malama Sokoni, Kapasa Makasa, Boniface Shinga and Michael Shinga, heroes of our independence struggle. This is the land of selfless and honest people.

If KK and Simon were selfish, Chinsali wouldn't be one of the least developed districts of our country today. There is a history of honesty and integrity in Muchinga Province that should be used to fight corruption in all parts of our country.

Muchinga Province needs to utilise whatever resources will be allocated to it in the most honest, efficient, effective and orderly manner. When you are the poorest, you cannot afford wastage, misuse, mismanagement, misapplication, embezzlement and other abuses of public resources.

Every ngwee, every kwacha that will be allocated to Muchinga Province must be utilised diligently. Let Muchinga be the province of the most upright, the most decent, the most honest of our people. No dishonesty, no abuses should be tolerated in Muchinga Province.

Muchinga has a proud history of honesty to use as the foundation of this province. KK is still there to give us inspiration. We are lucky that the apostle of our independence struggle, of the most noble and honest causes of our country, is still with us to give us guidance and inspiration.

Let us build this new province of our country on a solid foundation of honesty and integrity in public and private life. Let honesty and hard work be the only way to prosperity for this province and for its people.

We appeal to Michael Sata, the President of our Republic, not to send questionable characters, corrupt elements as political leaders and civil servants to this province.

We also urge the people of Muchinga Province to reject corrupt elements if ever they are sent there and to flush out honest people who become corrupt from the political leadership and public service of Muchinga. We also appeal to all the members of parliament in this province to conduct themselves in the most honest and sincere manner.

We have an opportunity to make Muchinga an example of what it means to be a province with a reputation of being the least corrupt. The people of Muchinga Province, public officials of this province and persons working in the private sector in this area should not accept corruption.

They should instead assume a position of zero-tolerance to corruption. Moreover, this is the province where Michael himself hails and he says he is allergic to corruption. One who is allergic to corruption will never accept his homeland to be turned into a den of corrupt elements.

Let all the people of Muchinga be allergic to corruption like Michael. Michael is today not only the leader of our Republic but he is also the leader of Muchinga Province and his example should be followed.

No form of corruption should be tolerated in Muchinga Province. No Muchinga policeman should accept a bribe and no Muchinga resident should pay a bribe anywhere. Corruption should be taken very seriously in this province.

There will be many contracts to be given in Muchinga Province to put up the necessary infrastructure required by a province. All sorts of unscrupulous businessmen from some parts of our country contaminated with corruption will come to Muchinga, looking for business, looking for money, looking for contracts. And they will come with their corruption and if we are not careful, they will contaminate weaker souls in this province.

As Malozo Sichone, the provincial minister for Muchinga Province, has correctly observed, corruption is a cancer. It spreads very quickly. So no amount of corruption should be tolerated in Muchinga because if tolerated, it won't be long before all the structures in this province are contaminated.

If corruption takes Muchinga over, its people should forget about ever moving out of poverty, should forget about development. No schools, hospitals or roads will be built if there is corruption.

These are the consequences of corruption. Whatever infrastructure may appear in Muchinga will be of a compromised quality because part of the money will be stolen. As Sichone has aptly put it, "The effects that corruption would have on a new province like Muchinga are that we will not be able to build the province properly, in terms of infrastructure, even the services, hence compromising what we are expected to do.

We cannot even as well achieve our vision. So, in short, corruption would be a serious hindering block to our advancement as a province. There are so much funds that will be coming into the province and these funds are not for self-enrichment, they are for infrastructure development".

Again, with so much funds going to Muchinga, as Sichone is promising, vultures will also be flying there.

We will therefore need a well-functioning democracy both at the provincial and district levels, openness in public administration in the province, low hierarchical governmental structures, devolution of decision-making powers to public officials in their respective fields of responsibility, non-politicisation of key civil service posts in Muchinga Province, and above all, the effort to defend the values of an open society where those running public affairs are made to account and where all residents participate.

We will have to maintain the honest moral values of this province. People in this province are generally sensitive to moral values, they generally hate dishonesty and corruption. Let the people of this province keep their reputation for honesty.

Let this province join forces with those opposed to corruption on behalf of a country, province with zero-tolerance for corruption.