Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) president Rueben Lifuka says the Drug Enforcement Commission’s decision to withdraw its summons against Valden Findlay amidst drug trafficking allegations against the businessman raises more speculations.
On Tuesday, News Diggers! revealed that the DEC had withdrawn its summons against Findlay after intervention from State House.
And responding to a press query, Lifuka stated that it was difficult to comprehend how DEC promptly summoned NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili, who was acting as a whistleblower, but failed to question to Findlay, a subject in the matter.
“Transparency International Zambia finds the decision by the Drugs Enforcement Commission to withdraw its intention to summon Mr Valden Findlay over drug trafficking allegations, puzzling and one that fuels further speculation. While we do recognize and fully support the need for DEC to discharge its functions professionally and independently, we want to believe that this case has attracted a lot of public interest and it is important that all activities and decisions of DEC are seen and considered by all interested stakeholders, to be above board. It is difficult to comprehend how DEC on one hand, promptly summoned Mr. Chishimba Kambwili, who in this instance was acting as a whistleblower, and yet, on the other hand, DEC has elected not to speak to the person who is the subject of these allegations,” Lifuka stated.
He stated that this development would spark speculation among citizens.
“Similarly, we would expect that DEC would take time to talk to Mr. Kaweche Kaunda who has shared an important perspective on Mr. Findlay. This may apply to any other persons who may have information on this matter. This decision by DEC would ordinarily pass without public scrutiny but the subject of the allegations is said to enjoy a close and personal relationship with President Lungu. It is easy therefore for the public to unfortunately and maybe unfairly speculate that there could be political interference in the work of the DEC insofar as this matter is concerned. The unfortunate part is that this story will not easily go away and the general public will be left to draw its own conclusions as to the reasons why DEC has gone against its earlier intentions to summon Mr. Findlay,” he stated.
Lifuka urged the DEC to get to the bottom of the matter and allow those falsely accused to clear their names.
“DEC has an important role to play to get to the bottom of this and allow those who are falsely accused to clear their names and while those that may be involved in this matter, should be brought before the courts of law. DEC should be reminded that it is unexplained decisions of this nature, which chip away at public trust and confidence in the institution. It may be prudent for DEC to provide the public, a good explanation as to what is happening on this case,” stated Lifuka.