Patriots for Economic Progress leader Sean Tembo says unless President Edgar Lungu stands to benefit from a weakened Financial Intelligence Centre, he must not support crooks that want to oust FIC Director General Mary Chirwa Tshuma.

In a statement yesterday, Tembo stated that criminals should not be allowed to cripple the FIC.

“As Patriots for Economic Progress, we are concerned with reports that senior officers and directors of FIC are being intimidated by certain unscrupulous individuals that are connected to high offices in government. This is because of the work that FIC is doing to identify and flag corrupt and irregular transactions in the economy, as reported by the director general of FIC at a press briefing last week. It has also come to our attention that these same unscrupulous and shady characters are now focused on undermining the credibility and good standing of the FIC so as to cripple the institution. The crooks want to go about their crooked ways with impunity, without any worry that an effective institution is monitoring their activities,” Tembo stated.

“Specifically, PeP is aware that there is a small clique of crooked individuals that are planning to have the director general of the Financial Intelligence Centre removed, by cooking up unsubstantiated charges against her. We wish to take this opportunity to advise the Republican President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu not to support the machinations of crooks that want to push out the FIC Director General. Unless of course the President himself is telling us that he is one of the people that stand to benefit from a weak and crippled Financial Intelligence Centre.”

Tembo encouraged FIC officials to remain strong saying PeP was standing in solidarity with them.

“As Patriots for Economic Progress, we further wish to take this opportunity to send a message of solidarity to the Board, Management and Staff of the Financial Intelligence Centre for their unwavering dedication to duty, bravery from dark forces and patriotism to the nation. Please, be rest assured that you have the full support of the upright citizens of this Republic. To those crooks that think their alignment to high offices in government makes them invisible, our message is short and simple; nothing lasts forever!” stated Tembo.