Lungu’s response to FIC Report shows he is corrupt – HH

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Hakainde Hichilema says President Edgar Lungu’s comments on the recently released Financial Intelligence Central (FIC) 2018 Trends Report are a clear indication that he is involve in the grand corruption revealed by the report.

Yesterday, President Lungu trashed the FIC report, calling it kachepa (gossip) and speculation.

“This is where the problem is, there is too much fertile ground for speculation,” said President Lungu at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport upon arrival from the Copperbelt. “So we have to look at the law and ask ourselves is this serving us; because it just says “PEP” Politically Exposed Person did this. Now we can’t afford having “Kachepa” because that is a Kachepa for me. Kachepa is a Gossiper.

“What the Financial Intelligence Centre is supposed to do is to report to ZRA, to report to Zambia Police, to report Drug Enforcement Commission Anti Money Laundering unit etc.

“Now if I go “Umu mumunzi mwafa munthu; so ba mupaya ni baja, sini baziba sininga ulule, it is not helping us”. (If I just say in this village there is a murder- somebody has been killed, the perpetrator is a certain someone but I cannot reveal their identity, it is not helping us).”

President Lungu continued: “As for me, I have got that report I’ve had it for a while. Before I went to the Copperbelt I took time to study the Principle Law- the Financial Intelligence Act, I looked at the Regulations. I think we have to sit down and agree and think through this thing.

“I know that what is happening over there is gossip, it is not helping us, it is not helping the Republic, and it is not helping all those well-meaning people who are stake holders.”

But UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema said in a statement today that President Lungu’s comments confirm his lack of seriousness in dealing with corruption.

“From the response that Mr. Edgar Lungu gave yesterday, typical of his usual airport press briefings, regarding the recently released Financial Intelligence Central (FIC) report it once again confirms his lack of seriousness in dealing with corruption allegations,” Hichilema observed.

“Did anyone surely expected any better or miraculous response from Mr. Lungu who has failed to dismiss his Minister of Infrastructure Development Ronald Chitotela currently facing 9 counts of corruption allegations in court?

“And how can such a casual approach trigger a serious reaction from his subordinates such as Ministers, PSs, Directors, various investigative agencies, etc that Mr. Lungu is supervising?”

Hichilema says it is not surprising that the Head of State is dismissive of the FIC report as he is involved in the embezzlement of the country’s resources.

“It is typical of him to treat such reports detailing financial embezzlement as mere mfwiti mfwiti (Witches or wizards) and hogwash, because he is at the epicenter of the game.

“If we were in his position, we would have immediately called on the Anti Corruption Commission, Drug Enforcement Commission and the Police to independently study the report and expedite investigations and bring all the named suspects to book.

“A president who is serious would have commended FIC for the job they are doing and encourage them to continue their role as an oversight institution that ensures checks and balances are enhanced for effective and corruption free government.

“The Financial Intelligence Centre is a constitutionally recognised organization mandated to investigate and issue reports on suspicious financial activities, but typical of Mr. Lungu and his disregard for the rule of law, he decides to use derogatory terms against them.”

Hichilema further states that if President Lungu was in doubt about the actual individuals and entities cited in the FIC reports, he would have asked them to give him or the Zambia State Security Intelligence Services popularly known as the Office of the President (OP) to furnish him with concrete data.

He added: “Anyway, we know Mr. Lungu in his privileged position knows who is involved but is afraid because he is an accomplice.

“It will once again take the people power to come together and rescue ourselves from these criminals”

And Alliance for Community Action executive director Laura Miti was particularly scathing in her criticism of the President’s remarks on the FIC report.

Miti tweeted: “When the President says he has read the #FICreport but doesn’t know & can’t find out who liberated K6.1 Billion of public money, there are only two conclusions: He 1. is prob a beneficiary of the looting or 2. is too incompetent to be President. Either way, we are in deep trouble”

In a follow-up tweet, Miti wrote: “EL’s corruption response:
Give me evidence (2017 #FICreport is released) I haven’t seen it. (CSOs deliver copy to him). His people attack FIC Director. (FIC report 2018 released) I’ve seen it but it’s just unknown people doing unknown things with unknown money. It’s witchcraft!”

The outspoken human rights activist further suggested that President Lungu may have been drunk when commenting on the FIC report.

“I mean no disrespect but the President, commenting on the #FICreport at Ndola Airport, sounded drunk. The whole FCU, FCI, FIC, mfwiti mfwiti. He really needs to stop addressing the nation from the airport. Rarely sounds coherent there.”

Meanwhile, opposition Movement for National Transformation president Daniel Shimunza has charged that President Edgar Lungu’s statement that he will not respond to the Financial Intelligence Centre report owing to speculations on who is being cited is meant to weaken the fight against fraud revealed in the report.

In an interview with Phoenix News, Dr. Shimunza implored the president to be proactive in the fight against corruption as his statement indicates that he is allegedly covering up on some cases and unwilling to investigate the report.

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One Response to Lungu’s response to FIC Report shows he is corrupt – HH

  1. Good morning Zambia.

    Let us be very very careful here as there is great temptation to look at the PF ruling team as a collection of selfish demons bent on enriching themselves, hence their apparent lack of seriousness in handling the FIC 2018 trends report.

    Are we sure, given the current administrative mess and lacunas in institutional placements, if we, the critics, were the ones in the PF ruling team’s shoes, if we were the ones in positions of governance, we would do much better than the Lungu team?

    Let us be honest with ourselves. Probably, we would perform worse than the Lungu government team. President Lungu and his team, incompetent as they appear, have done a great job for this country and we need to appreciate them.

    Let us ALWAYS remember that when you are in government, in charge of the country’s affairs and its people, the pressure is so much on your shoulders as every corner and people in a given area want you to deliver what they want to them, say like yesterday.

    So due to these competing needs, you are often kept awake till latevin the nights due to more meetings to attend to, more issues to sort out and yet you need to wake up early in the morning for another day.

    Therefore, chances of being tempted to sometimes cut corners to raise more money to satisfy the competing needs of the country are very high. And if you are not very careful, you may think soaking yourself in alcohol or smoking something stronger than cigarettes may help relieve you off some pressure.

    My point is that let us not over condemn them, instead, let us offer them some loving and brotherly advice where we can. Governance of the country is much like football, it is ease to condemn a professional player for being inept when you are comfortably seated on the terraces as a soccer fan, relaxed, under no pressure. But if you are put into the game, you will find yourself being hit by the ball so many times, instead of you hitting the ball!

    To put it clearly, the many mistakes we see in the governance system go beyond the politicians in power. As a collective family, as a country, we have been negligent. How?

    If you buy your early teenage child an advanced smart phone, and warn it not to watch porno, what do you think the child would do the moment it is away from you or worse still, with fellow teenage friends?

    Now in the event that the child starts watching porno, wll it be the child’s fault or your fault as a parent?

    Therefore, putting the politicians into the early teenage children’s shoes and you the voters or general public into the parent’s place, do you think we are helping this country by heaping blame on politicians?

    Of course, the excited Opposition politicians would encourage you and I to hate the ruling team so that we vote them out. But will the new team of politicians govern us in a better way?

    They will probably heap all the blame on their predecessors, while they pick up the plundering of resources where their colleagues left. IT WILL AS IR HAS BEEN A VICIOUS CIRCLE!

    However, there can be a simpler way of ending this vicious circle.

    Victor Kaluba
    June 8, 2019 at 8:20 am
    Reply

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