TRANSPARENCY International Zambia (TI-Z) has welcomed the investigations being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Commission for various financial crimes, but hopes that the motivation will not be to settle political scores.

DEC recently seized four motor vehicles belonging to PF cadre Maxwell Chongu following operations conducted by the Commission where various individuals have been searched and some properties seized.

And in an interview, TI-Z executive director Maurice Nyambe hoped that the investigations being conducted by various law enforcement agencies would be all-encompassing.

“As TIZ, we do welcome the investigations that have been launched by the Drug Enforcement Commission into specific individuals. I think that if the DEC really does have information of suspicions of any propriety having taken place in respect of those specific cases, I think they are well within their right and well within their mandate to launch these investigations. So yes we welcome the investigations that are taking place. But we hope that these investigations are going to be all-encompassing and that the driving force or motivation will not be to settle political scores but actually to get to the bottom of what may have transpired as far as the issues of corruption go,” Nyambe said.

Nyambe added that there should be no exceptions when carrying out investigations regardless of who was involved in financial crimes.

He hoped that law enforcement agencies would exhibit the same enthusiasm if it gets to a point where someone aligned to the ruling UPND was accused of corruption.

“What would be unacceptable of course is if this is retribution may be to be towards people that supported the PF. Then of course that would not be welcome because again you do not want the fight against corruption to be characterized by retribution or seemingly settling political scores. We hope that the DEC and other law enforcement agencies will adopt a very professional approach that is going to ensure that they do the correct thing even in terms of investigations that they are conducting,” said Nyambe.

“But going forward, I think our hope is that law enforcement agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Commission and the Anti-Corruption Commission will actually be allowed to exhibit the same sort of enthusiasm and the same sort of professionalism if we do get to a point where somebody who is aligned to the ruling UPND actually gets into trouble when it comes to issues to do with corruption. I think there should be no sacred cows regardless of who is involved. I think the approach towards it should be the same. Our hope is that the UPND government is going to give law enforcement agencies enough latitude to be able to conduct their work as is mandated to them by the constitution.”

On Wednesday, the Drug Enforcement Commission announced that it had seized four motor vehicles belonging to PF cadre Maxwell Chongu.

In a statement, DEC Public Relations Officer Mathias Kamanga said members of the public had been providing information on suspected financial crimes, particularly money laundering.

“The Drug Enforcement Commission wishes to thank members of the public that have been bringing information on suspected financial crimes particularly money laundering. The Commission has received a lot of reports in the past weeks, some of which have led to operations where various individuals have been searched and some properties seized. Among the operations conducted was a search at the residence for Maxwell Chongu where four motor vehicles were seized. These include unregistered Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota Hilux, a Mark X with registration number BBA 4238 and a Small Truck with registration number BAG 4331 investigation in this matter continues,” said Kamanga.