POLICE in Lusaka have recovered K65,330,000 cash and over US$57,000 suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained from a house in Lusaka’s new Kasama area belonging to Faith Musonda.
And MMD president Nevers Mumba says someone powerful enough must have authorised the withdrawal of K65,330,000.
In a statement, Saturday, Police Spokesperson Esther Katongo said the Central Bank was engaged and counted the money in the presence of caretakers as the alleged owner, Musonda, was reported to have run away from the house.
She said a further search was conducted and the team discovered a safe containing $57,350 Dollars which was later seized and handed over to Bank of Zambia for safe keeping and further investigations.
“Police in Lusaka have recovered K65,330,000 suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained from a house in Lusaka’s new Kasama area. The money was recovered in an operation conducted yesterday 17th September, 2021 after a tip off from members of the public. During the search, police discovered 30 travelling bags containing Zambian Kwacha notes. Bank of Zambia was engaged and counted the money in the presence of caretakers as the alleged owner Faith Musonda is reported to have run away from the house. A further search was conducted and the team discovered a safe containing USD57, 350 which was later seized and handed over to Bank of Zambia for safe keeping and further investigations. A manhunt for the suspect has been launched,” said Katongo.
And in an interview, Mumba said security wings should up their game because Musonda’s house cannot be the only location where money has been hidden.
“I have urged the security wings of government to up their game by employing speed in the manner in which they handle the issue of the fight against corruption. Any delay and any loss of a day or week will give space to the criminals to hide, bury or externalize the money and destroy evidence. So to see that the institutions of government have recovered over K65 million and 57, 000 US Dollars, it is gratifying except we must know that this is a warning shot to just remind the investigative wings and the Zambian people that there is more to where that came from. That location for Faith Musonda cannot be the only location where money has been hidden,” Mumba said.
“It is a fact that homes and farms are now being used to hide vehicles, materials. Homes are also being used to store money like we have witnessed today. This is happening every day and this is not a simple corporation and I think that the ACC, DEC, police and all those that are supposed to protect the resources of the Zambian people must be more vigilant to be aware that as we speak, these things are happening. We also want to assure the Zambian people that this fight cannot be won without their involvement. Any unusual thing they see in their neighbour’s house, they should report it to the police otherwise, and they become accomplices to that kind of theft and corrupt behaviour.
Mumba asked law enforcement agencies to investigate who may have authorised the withdrawal of such huge sums of money.
“We thank the agencies for doing what they have done, but we want them to know that to get that kind of money in cash, it means there are more powerful people involved because you cannot get that cash across the bank desk. That has to be drawn from higher places such as big banks and hopefully not Bank of Zambia. Somebody big enough must have authorized that money to come off and out of the system. ACC needs to find out on our behalf who that is,” he said.
“The punishment for such should be stern and there should be no lukewarmness in fighting this type of corruption. This is not just corruption, these are people who hate Zambia and would like to see Zambians suffer. They would want to see the multiplication of poverty and yet they themselves are eating and living like kings around the world. This is an opportunity to send a strong message to anyone including those who have come in government that we are not in government for this but we are in government in order to facilitate for the wellbeing of an ordinary Zambian.”
Mumba said Zambians needed to be alert and report any suspicious activities, adding that keeping such kinds of money was not just greed but “demonic”.
“This thing of going into government to steal really stinks and we should find a way to stop it. You cannot stop it by sending these light sentences like you go for three to 10 years. These people should be removed from society and set aside in another place. You cannot take K65 million when retirees have not been paid, when people are dying because they do not have simple medicines in hospitals and then you have it in boxes to consume it upon what? That is not greed anymore but that is demonic. What are you going to do with that kind of money alone and it is not yours?? And if it is yours how did you get it? So I think ACC, DEC, the police and all the agencies responsible for preserving and protecting the resources of the Zambian people must demonstrate that they are equal to the task. We are also aware that they cannot do it alone. Every Zambian needs to be alert and ensure that we provide as much information to these agencies as possible. I am confirming that we are able to win this fight if all of us put our hands on deck,” said Mumba.