YALI is shielding its own crimes by supporting calls from the Patriotic Front government to disband the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), says civil rights activist Brebner Changala.

Commenting on YALI president Andrew Ntewewe’s call for FIC Director-General Mary Tshuma’s dismissal for allegedly putting the country’s security at risk, Changala said YALI was increasingly becoming a part of the PF.

“In recent days, YALI has been behaving extremely strange and this is a source of worry. YALI must never at any one time become an appendage of PF, of which I think they have convinced themselves they should be. The job of FIC must be commended by any right-thinking citizen of this country. What is so disturbing about FIC telling the people of Zambia that there are a lot of criminal activities going around in this country? YALI must be worried about the content of the FIC [2017 Trends] Report, that’s what is very cardinal. But YALI, like everybody else in this government, they want this information to be swept under the carpet. And these young men who are assuming to be of future leaders are trying to actually abet the crimes. They want these criminal activities to continue. I thought they should have celebrated that lady, Mary Tshuma, because she has done Zambia proud, knowing very well that the people they are saying must get that report, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), is moribund, the DEC is sick, the police is a militia and if FIC didn’t do what they did, the Zambian people were not going to know about these criminal activities that are happening in this administration,” Changala said.

He said security agencies like ACC, DEC and Zambia Police were even failing to arrest individuals cited in the FIC Report because institutions like YALI were frustrating their efforts.

“Why is ACC not coming up with criminal charges with the people we know very well, those they are calling XYZ who are in that report. Why are they not arresting them? It’s because of institutions like YALI who want to shield every thief in this country! And I wouldn’t be wrong to say that YALI has an interest in this scandal so they want to cleanse themselves. There is an English saying which says: ‘birds of a feather flock together,’ so YALI is simply telling us that, there is a nerve that they have touched in their operations. So, let them come clean, because there is no decent organisation that would criticise Madam Tshuma. She deserves a pat on the back. We need to condemn those people who are stealing our money under our watch,” Changala insisted.

“The poverty levels in this country are so high and somebody must be worried about contents of the FIC. When PF is out of power sooner than later, you will be surprised how ACC, DEC and other security wings will be alive arresting these people and telling this country that ‘they stole this, they stole that…they are criminals.’ These people will be in their weaker position and it will look like it’s political destitution.”

Changala said YALI had exceeded its limits by calling for the dismissal of Tshuma and the disbandment of the FIC board.

“We are losing money, a lot of money and for YALI to go and start shooting at the messenger, trying to call for the dismissal of a messenger of a good message to the people of Zambia that you have elected criminals in your midst. Because FIC is telling the people of Zambia: ‘you wake up, they are stealing your money’ and these guys have become so viciously to say: ‘kill the messenger, fire the lady, disband the board’. No, no, no, no! YALI must stop that, they have crossed the bar. They must praise the lady, they must analyse the intelligence information that that institution has given to us. YALI by its definition is supposed to be on top of this act by defending this country, but instead YALI is participating in the destruction of this country. I don’t think that is inspiring from these young men, and it tells you what type of leadership we are expecting in the next generation. So, YALI, it’s either they stay away from these things, stop disturbing or they support the cause of the FIC. I will not support this behaviour from YALI, I have been following them and they are actually a danger to themselves and to the country,” warned Changala.