OUTGOING President Edgar Lungu’s friend Valden Findlay says the Drug Enforcement Commission (DRC) has not told him why his accounts have been frozen.
Meanwhile, Transparency International Zambia (TI-Z) says it is happy that law enforcement agencies like the DEC are being alert and acting on anything suspicious.
In a brief interview, Findlay lamented that he was disturbed by this.
“There is no reason, I have not been given a reason. How would you feel? I am just disturbed that’s all,” said Findlay.
Impeccable sources told News Diggers that Findlay was in the process of transferring over K10 million to some offshore accounts when the Drug Enforcement Commission moved in.
“The bank received some instruction to transfer some money to offshore accounts. He wanted some money to be moved out, a lot of money, over K10 million. But before that could be done, there were some orders from DEC that the account be frozen. So as we speak, all accounts for Mr Findlay have been frozen,” said the source.
“On the question of arrest, he has not been arrested at this stage because this is just an investigation. The purpose of the seizure order on an account is simply to allow a smooth investigation, and this is done when the money in question is believed to be linked to any form of suspected crime. When a crime has been established, that is when an arrest is made and a charge will be slapped on him.”
Commenting on these revelations in an interview, TI-Z president Sampa Kalungu said institutions like DEC and the Anti-Corruption Commission were expected to be always alert.
“If there is any movement that is suspicious and DEC is acting to that aspect, then we are pleased. We are happy as TIZ that they are being alert of anything that can be suspicious and they want to take action so that they have a chance to interrogate whatever is happening, to assess whether it is illegal or a legal transaction. Institutions such as DEC and the Anti-Corruption Commission should ever be on alert and deal with anything that is emerging in terms of being reported or being discovered as being suspicious. Situations like this should not start alarming the nation or making the nation excited because this is part of their job and this is what we expect them to do,” Kalungu said.
He reiterated the need for law enforcement agencies to be given enough resources and the independence to act within their mandates.
“What comes out as a problem is where we see for some time they don’t do anything and all of a sudden when some situations change, then they start running up and down. To this effect we are saying, when the new government comes in, they should give these law enforcement agencies enough resources. They should give them enough political will and enough power to act, not at the call by the President or minister, but to always be called to duty by their own mandate and by their own roles as impacted by them by their own act, by the law,” Kalungu said.
“What we expect is that the incoming President should give a lot of political will, leeway and independence for all the law enforcement agencies to act within their own mandate. They don’t need to wait for instructions from the President. The fight against corruption as we go forward, we don’t want it to be seen as a retributive or vindictive kind of corruption, that will be short-lived. We want something that will be based on law, fairness and justice. If I erred, it does not matter when I erred, I should be taken to account for that.”
Kalungu said corruption should be fought in a manner that was sustainable.
“The only caution we are giving is that we should have an approach towards fighting corruption in a manner that is sustainable, a manner that will provide a lot of confidence in the people that we are fighting corruption, we are not persecuting people. We will support any efforts by the new government as they fight corruption. No one should be sacrificed or favoured,” said Kalungu.