President Edgar Lungu’s Spokesperson Amos Chanda says the Head of State has decided to leave the Financial Intelligence Centre’s 2017 Trends Report to law enforcement agencies to investigate the allegations because there are no names contained in it.
In a statement released yesterday, Chanda stated that President Lungu received FIC Director-General Mary Tshuma at State House after she requested a meeting with the Head of State on Monday.
Chanda revealed that Tshuma met President Lungu at 11:00 hours and she officially presented him the report.
Chanda, however, disclosed that President Lungu had decided to leave the controversial report to the relevant investigative wings for further action because no names were contained in it.
“The Head of State has noted that since the report does not mention names of suspects and claims against any individuals and body corporates, he would leave it to law enforcement agencies to investigate any allegations that may arise from the Trends Report,” Chanda stated.
“The President’s perusal of the report shows that it brings out trends in financial transactions and alleged malpractices in a general nature. He, therefore, expects that the FIC will collaborate with relevant law enforcement agencies tasked with specific responsibilities that touch on issues raised in the report. Once these agencies have fully investigated these trends and suspicious transactions, they would decide to prosecute or make necessary recommendations to relevant authorities.”
And Chanda stated that President Lungu complained that it was unfair for some NGOs and opposition political parties to pressure him in taking action on “general allegations.”
“The President emphasizes that it is unfair for some NGOs and opposition parties to pressure him to take action on general allegations that have no names and no direct and proven cases. In any case, some of the previous reports the FIC presented to the President contained allegations against private citizens and companies who are not directly amenable to his authority,” stated Chanda.
“The President does not, therefore, understand what sort of action he can direct against private entities mentioned in the suspicious transactions reports. It is never the responsibility of the Head of State to micro-manage criminal investigations against anyone, save for cases where administrative action is required to pave way for smooth investigations in situations where it judged that office bearers would hinder such processes.”
Chanda also confirmed receipt of the FIC Report from some NGOs, including ActionAid Zambia, which directly delivered the report to State House last Friday.