Lusaka Lawyer Lewis Mosho has written to Financial Intelligence Centre Director General Mary Tshuma, warning her to stop using her current position to shield herself from facing criminal prosecution for the offences she allegedly committed in the past.
Tshuma could not confirm receipt of the letter from Lewis Nathan Advocates, as she did not pick calls; but a source close to Mosho told News Diggers that a letter was sent.
“Mrs Tshuma has been playing cut and mouse games, She has been running to the media and to the public trying to seek sympathy, but she has to be answerable and public sympathy will not help her. She is running everywhere trying to convince the public that she is being victimised because she is the heading the Financial Intelligence Centre, this matter has nothing to do with FIC. Even though we know the criminal activities she is doing at FIC, we are only interested in the role she played in her previous employment at DEC. That’s all, if she is clean, she will defend herself, but she should not use her position to shield herself from facing the law,” said a source who sought anonymity.
And according to a letter the source shared with Diggers! dated December 13, 2017, Mosho, who is being represented by his law firm, is accusing Tshuma of “abuse of office and disobedience of statutory duty contrary to applicable laws”.
“Our client states that following this notice, you deliberately commenced and have continued to interfere in the matter by holding and seeking to hold meetings using your current office and position for the purpose of shielding yourself from prosecution as well as securing sympathy thereof. We have instructions to inform you that the offences for which you are soon to be prosecuted relate to the period when you served at the Drug Enforcement Commission Anti-Money Laundry Investigations Unit (AMLIU), and not to the period while you are at the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC),” stated Mosho’s letter.
Mosho added that he valued that role that FIC played in the country.
“Our client states that the FIC is a very important and relevant Institution in not only the local economy but also the entire world, and should not be drawn into the conduct you personally displayed while at AMLIU and before you were in your current office. Our client further states that you should not go to town shopping sympathy by misleading state institutions and the public, but that you should wait for the prosecution to commence and defend yourself like any other Zambian national before the law. He states that every person is equal before the law and that you should not twist the fact that you are answerable to the people when found wanting,” the later read in part.
Mosho went further to claim that Tshuma had committed criminal activities at the FIC, which he was aware of.
“It is our client’s humble advice to you that if the offences for which you shall be prosecuted relate to your conduct at FIC, he would have expressly referred you to a lot of public interest matters including; your alleged concealing of official FIC laptop into wrong hands and your omission to report the same to the police, as well as your alleged simultaneous use of public funds instead of use of insurance policy to replace the same; Your alleged purchase of official vehicle of which value exceeds your contractual entitlement and specifications, including your alleged misleading of FIC Board for purpose thereof; your alleged unbalanced business-class travel and unauthorised extension of use of such facility; Your alleged construction and acquisition of a 7 bedroomed house within a year and two months without justified means; and for/ or other matters,” charged Mosho.
“We have instructions to state that our client is proceeding with criminal investigations covering your conduct while at AMLIU, and that team of legal practitioners is now in place to conduct private prosecution. The prosecution has nothing to do with and is completely unassociated to FIC, an institution which you must not refuse with your clearly displayed personal conduct. This distinction must be noted.”
However, the FIC board recently raised an alarm that some individual who are connected to illicit financial transactions were targeting senior managers of the country Intelligence Centre with the aim of intimidating them.
Acting board chairman John Kasanga told journalists last month that the criminals wanted to ensure that the institution was closed so that they could freely conduct illegal financial transactions.
“Public institutions, especially the FIC have an important role in safeguarding our country from criminal elements. Unfortunately, I must share with you that the FIC is facing real threats from these criminal elements who would like to destabilise the institution. This has taken a form of threats to the personal safety of the FIC senior staff and attempts at spreading false insinuations about its senior management,” Kasanga said without mentioning Mosho.
“So the public must be made aware that the sources of these threats are from the same elements that are committing serious financial crimes. They are the same people who are trying to influence the shut down of the FIC. They are trying to influence negative views about the FIC and its senior staff. Unfortunately, they are also trying to use their proceeds from criminal activities to corrupt other public institutions to further their agenda of trying to neutralize the FIC. So the FIC is under siege. We are under siege.”
Kasanga who was flanked by Tshuma and board director Daniel Katongo, said the FIC had identified the criminals behind the maneuvers because their illicit financial activities were already on the institution’s database.
“A weakened FIC will enable such elements to continue to commit crimes without anyone recording what they have done, or putting together the evidence required by law enforcement agencies to prosecute them. But what these individuals don’t realise is that the FIC knows who they are because their activities are documented. What has been documented cannot be erased by eliminating individual members of staff of the FIC,” said Kasanga.
“So they can try and destabilise, but as long as we continue to have government support over the ideals of maintaining the FIC, that information will always be there for anyone to use if they want to prosecute. So trying to threaten individuals will not help. The best they can do is to stop getting involved in criminal activities; that is the answer. We would like to assure the public that the FIC remains undaunted and we remain committed to discharging our mandate professionally and without fear of favour.”