Renowned Lusaka lawyer Lewis Mosho has picked on Mary Chirwa Tshuma with the aim of removing her from the position of director Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC).
But some State House officials have expressed concern that the trend of removing and replacing heads of key investigative wings in the country, will weaken President Edgar Lungu’s control of state institutions.
Speaking to News Diggers in an interview, the officials who sought anonymity disclosed that Mosho was working with some “ill motivated individual” in the ruling party to remove Tshuma from her position so that someone “more submissive” could take over.
“Late last month (October), a plan was mooted to remove the Head of the Financial Intelligence Centre. Apparently, they picked on Mosho to handle the matter and he has already started building a case against her. Some of the people who are involved in the scheme proposed that Mosho finds something he can use against Tshuma. If they can’t find anything in her current position, they will use her previous job at the Drug Enforcement Commission, until they find something,” the sources narrated.
“The idea is to get her suspended from her positions so that she can face criminal charges, but in the meantime, someone else who is more submissive will be appointed to the position. But these are ill motivated people in the party, they don’t mean well for the President. If they truly love ECL, they would be advising him that this trend will eventually weaken his control of key State institutions. This trend of removing people will leave ECL ‘naked’ in the end, because people who are loyal to the system are being removed and replaced by those who are loyal to the people around the President,” said the sources.”
The sources said Mosho and those who were involved in the scheme to remove Tshuma were uncomfortable with the eyes of the FIC over their financial transactions.
“They have had challenges evading the eyes of the FIC. If you remember earlier this year, the FIC announced that there were serious illicit financial transactions during election campaigns. Now money has continued to move in people’s accounts with all these government contracts being awarded. So there is fear now that if they don’t put someone who can protect them, these transactions will be exposed,” the sources explained.
“But it doesn’t work like that. What they don’t understand is that they are creating a silent uprising within the civil service. These civil servants have now started keeping dossiers against their bosses. Sooner or later, they will start releasing these dossiers and everything will fall back on the President. Obviously, the civil servants want to protect their jobs so they are watching everything that is happening and keeping evidence. They are recording all these illegal orders and deals. Why do you think [Chishimba] Kambwili is talking with that kind of confidence?”
The sources said a compromised head of the Financial Intelligence Centre would not render 100 per cent loyalty to the Head of State.
“The problem that we have is that some people have become so powerful around ECL that they do things without fully understanding the eventual implications on the President. We are only telling you this pantu imwe namukwatako tu credibility and we want the President to realise that the people who are behind this move don’t mean well; they don’t love him. Very soon, you will hear what Mosho is trying to do at the Financial Intelligence Centre. But once they remove Tshuma, the person who will come will be loyal to the President and also to those who will claim responsibility for creating the vacancy. This is not good for ECL,” the sources lamented.
And the sources said the PF was using the same technique that was used to remove Anti Corruption Commission acting director Irene Lamba from office.
“You see what they are doing is the same thing they did to Lamba when she was acing at ACC. They engineered some charges and found a complainant against her, that Robert Chabinga who is a friend to Mosho. Eventually the charges fell off, but they achieved what they wanted, which was to remove Lamba and appoint someone else whom they think they can control. They also dropped [Stella] Libongani as Inspector General for the same reason, and you heard in that audio that was going round where someone was telling the IG that ‘be firm, don’t be lenient like the woman who was there before you’,” said the sources.
“They also removed Mutembo using the same strategy. They just found a complainant and then arrested him before throwing him out of office. But look at the damage caused to the President and judiciary on just that one move. You people, the media must be following the real news of what is happening in these institutions; you will be shocked!”