Corruption and manipulated impeachment

Lokman Singh Karki, Picture: Indian Express

Dear Brothers and Sisters–It is well-known that I had assumed the position of the Chief Commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) at time of interim transition period in our country.

I have faced many challenges and obstructions since the beginning of my appointment to the CIAA, but my primary focus has always been to establish a society free of corruption where good governance prevails and democratic values are respected.

After a long period of silence, I thought it was necessary to bring to notice some important facts including the challenges I faced and the baseless accusations made against me.

What is the fate of a tree giving shade during the scorching summer, if it has to be cut-down? What about a lamp overcoming darkness, if it is suddenly blown out? What about a gardener who waters many buds and blossoms a garden,if he is suddenly fired? What is the fate of the garden then? You can apparently notice that I, as the Chief Commissioner of the CIAA, have been facing the same kind of fate at present.

Despite the commitment to do my best for the betterment of the people and my nation, I have been facing a number of challenges since my assumption as the Chief Commissioner. The present day allegations and conspiracies against me has clearly been influenced and guided by a group of people whose only motive is to defame and demoralize me. Despite all this, I have always tried to deliver my best in the past and I’d like to assure that I’ll maintain my zeal and enthusiasm for the betterment of my motherland.

The then interim government headed by the chief justice appointed me as the Chief Commissioner of the CIAA on the unanimous recommendation of the leaders of the major political parties taking into account my ability and eligibility to serve the CIAA. I had perceived at that moment that the Nepalese political leaders were equally committed to control corruption and promote good governance under the rule of law and unprejudiced democracy. I therefore, had made a strong determination to prove the faith my well-wishers had in me by demonstrating my efficacy and dedication in controlling corruption and bringing about good governance.

Corruption is a cancerous disease and it has hardly left any area unaffected. A huge effort and true dedication is required to swipe out this evil from our society. With this apprehension, I tried to revitalize the CIAA and reinforced its activities in multiple areas of public concern. After my interventions and actions in various sectors, the public were definitely delighted and it gave me the strength and enthusiasm to devote myself for the contentment of the common people of my country. But some people were dejected with my actions.The ones who were under investigation and those who would possibly come under investigation were the ones whose fear increased as our work took pace.

During the first few years of my tenure at the CIAA, I was constantly questioned about intervening limited sectors only. With the initiation of investigation of various sectors including some high level political and bureaucratic leaders, the allegations and accusations against me began to rise to a point where the impeachment process was brought forth.

If we look into the process of impeachment in several countries around the world, we can find one thing in common. All nations have attached a high degree of importance to the sanctity of the process in impeaching a public official. That is, they require that the due process must be followed and it must be flawless.

In the impeachment trial initiated against me in Nepal, much appalling information has surfaced. It was discovered that more than 40 members of the parliament who have signed to initiate the impeachment process, did not know the document they were signing for would be used for initiating the impeachment process. They have strongly protested to the party chairman Prachanda for misusing their signatures which they had actually made for demanding electricity to their constituencies. They have also demanded strong action against the Minister of Energy, Janardhan Sharma “Prabhakar” for fraudulently obtaining and misusing their signatures. Mr. Janardhan Sharma has himself stated through his interviews that he has misused the signatures of the members of his party without which the impeachment process would not have been possible. Is this how a responsible Minister should respond and speak in public? Is this not a criminal offence? None of the big media houses had the time to bring out this issue and my faith in most of the big media houses which has been run by people with vested interest has reduced to nil.

These revelations clearly show the extent to which the process of impeachment has been manipulated for the benefit of some influential political leaders. The CIAA was going to initiate investigation against many important cases and more than 50 top level political leaders immediately after I returned from Canada. As this information was disclosed before my arrival, the impeachment process against me was initiated in hastiness and was lodged in the middle of the night. This unusual act of the parliament has unmasked the real face of the politicians involved in this plot. Otherwise, why would the sovereign parliament work in such haste when I still had two and a half years to serve?

Impeachment is not a usual and ordinary action against any public official, I believe it is applied when the deeds of an official is contrary to the constitution, is amount to treason or betrayal to the oath sworn in before taking up the responsibility. The concern is not about me remaining as the Chief Commissioner of the CIAA, but the initiation of impeachment process against me, which has surprised me, as I have not done anything against the interest of the country. I have neither done anything against the spirit of the constitution and have not deviated from the ethical standard of my position. Rather I have tried my best to work in the interest of the ordinary people by contributing to the rule of law and good governance despite which I have been victimized.

An institution or an individual under investigation cannot itself be the judge. However, in this impeachment process, a leader under the purview of investigation is the one who has registered the impeachment proposal. Five out of eleven members in the Impeachment Recommendation Committee have been relentlessly speaking against me and it is astounding that they have already declared in the public that they would go to any extent to impeach me. From this scenario, my belief that I would get justice from the Impeachment Committee has reduced to virtually nil.

The accusations against me are biased, unrealistic and illusive. It has clearly been designed and influenced by a group of people after investigation was started against some and were on the way for a few, including those receiving huge funds from I/NGOs and using it for their own benefit, those amassing huge amount of money which could not be verified, those accumulating huge amount of property abroad, trade unions, protectors of carteling and syndicate,those taking huge amount of money for making the Members of the Parliament and the Constituent Assembly, some media houses evading taxes and practicing yellow journalism, and definitely the top level bureaucrats and politicians who were in the fear of being exposed. This impeachment proposal has been used as a weapon of revenge by those afraid that their real face of corruption would soon be exposed amongst the people. I am convinced that the truth of these conspiracies against me will be revealed in the history.

It is a pity that I have baselessly been accused by responsible officials for trying to be ‘an executive’. I have never tried to practice any rights and authority beyond the legal mandate. There is no evidence that I have interfered in any way in the business of the government. Have I ever interfered to appoint any Minister or judge or have I imposed to appoint any Chairman or GM for my favor? Or, have I ever tried to create any ‘parallel administrative system? I’d like to request those accusing me of these allegations to provide convincing evidences before making such allegations.

In many other developed nations, the political parties and the government focuses on making independent institutions like the CIAA stronger by supporting, motivating, rewarding and encouraging the actions of the leader and his dedicated team. An example of how a nation changed over a duration of time is “South Korea”.

South Korea had faced a situation of poverty and hunger during the 60’s but has now emerged as one of the most developed nations of the world. This was possible because of the dedicated political leadership and their commitment for nation-building. Other factors that served as an added advantage were the political stability, harmonious policy environment, discipline and honesty of public servants and strong measures to control corruption.

Recently, the President of South Korea was impeached with the charge of corruption for helping her closest friend secure millions of dollars in her foundation from major South Korean Companies and for leakage of classified information. This reflects the sensitivity of South Korea against corruption and their commitment for maintaining rule of law and good governance. In contrary to the situation of South Korea, where the president was impeached for charges of corruption, I have been targeted for not willing to stop my fight against corruption.

Democracy can nurture and flourish people’s rights and liberty. I have a strong belief that only people have the supreme and sovereign authority. Nepalese people currently expect prevalence of rule of law, good governance, corruption-free society and prosperity. They expect every offender/culprit, irrespective of their position or power, to be punished as per the law. I would like to assure that my deeds as the Chief Commissioner of CIAA are in accordance with the law; and in accordance with the ‘will’ of people. I, as the Chief Commissioner, have seen the areas of corruption-breed; and have also noticed how corrupt practices are mushrooming in our society. It is evident that CIAA has initiated and intervened into a number of areas with an aim to discourage malpractices and punish the wrong-doers.

I have full faith and trust on the ‘Almighty’ that I will get justice and will be able to get rid of all these baseless, vindictive accusations. I reiterate to work against corruption and the malpractices to the best of my ability. Even if I don’t get justice to remain in this position, my fight against corruption will never die.

I will reveal the dynamics of the involvement of various political leaders in the corruption charges, at the right time when the public command me to do so. At that moment, the faces of the corrupt will be unveiled and their uncovered faces will prove their dishonesty and reveal their deceit.

Besides, I will indomitably fight against corruption in any given moment or given circumstance. I am determined to keep my fight against corruption alive till my last breath. It is, however, beyond one’s speculation and only the time ahead will be able to decide the fate of the corrupt-practitioners and the destiny of a fore fighter like me.

Published on: December 22, 2016 5:24 pm

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