Rainbow Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba says First Lady charities are nothing more than conduits of corruption.
And Kabimba has insisted that white collar criminals are being acquitted of crimes they have committed simply because those charged with the responsibility of prosecution are the very people committing crimes.
Speaking when he featured on Joy FM’s “The Platform” programme, Monday, Kabimba, a former justice minister, said he has always been against the idea of First Ladies opening up charities because they are not genuine.
He said it was not possible for someone who needed charity to run a charity organization.
“What has happened to the Vera Chiluba Hope Foundation? What has happened to Maureen Mwanawasa Community Initiative? What is wrong with Christine Kaseba’s ‘Ubutala bwa Bumi?’ What is it about the Esther Lungu Foundation Trust? Let me tell you this, if you ask those that know me, I have been against first ladies establishing charities because there is a major contradiction in that. Let’s start with what happens at a global level; Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have a Foundation. Have you ever seen anybody donating money to them or somebody donating blankets to them so that they can give somebody else? The answer is no! So, you can’t run a charity when you yourself need charity. You can’t run a charity, which is based on begging and donations, that’s not the principle of a charity across the world,” Kabimba argued.
“That’s why you see that these charities do not last because they are used invariably by those that donate to the charity as vehicle to have access to State House. Before we got into power, I advised Christine Kaseba that don’t do what ba Vera and what ba Maureen did, don’t set up a charity because it is a vehicle of corruption…you remember an incident when somebody donated a truck to the Maureen Mwanawasa Initiative and two days later, the police went to State House and said ‘this truck is stolen!’ And that is why, once you are out of government, nobody continues to donate to that charity. Everybody now who is donating to the Esther Lungu Foundation Trust, all that they want is to get favours from government or from the President himself! So, these are not genuine charities, I have been against them myself and if I became President, my wife would not be allowed to set up a charity or an NGO to be going round donating blankets around the country. The government will do that job because that’s the role of government.”
And Kabimba insisted that investigations officers were compromised.
“I have said: a number of people you see being acquitted on corruption charges, it’s not because they are not corrupt, it’s because the prosecution is poor. That’s how they get acquitted because that is white collar crime. So, if you don’t have trained human capital, the corrupt will have their day in court and then they come out as heroes and start claiming that they were just being framed politically…So, let us acknowledge that we have a problem with capacity to investigate and prosecute white collar crime. If we don’t acknowledge that, then we’ll have a problem! The other related issue to that, which is important to mention to the public is that, there are elements of corruption even in these investigating agencies. There are officers in these investigating agencies that they, themselves, are corrupt and they can’t investigate themselves! When they see that you are being accused of having stolen K2 billion, then say to themselves: ‘oh my god! Kalilo (this is our opportunity to eat), the fellow has money.’ So, they will be investigating you during the day and they come to you during night time to come and get money from you,” charged Kabimba.
“But how can you run a country like that? How can you fight corruption like that? These are realities…If our State intelligence system worked properly, and I can challenge the Director General of intelligence out there, if he put his men to conduct surveillance on some of these officers in the DEC and ACC and ZRA, just to conduct surveillance to see where they go in the evening; whom they meet in the evening; I can swear to the living Lord that they will get some of these officers arrested! So, I think even the criticism against the FIC (Trends) Report is misplaced and it is worrying when that criticism comes from government because it just shows that government is not serious about fighting corruption and money laundering in this country.”