KABUSHI PF member of parliament Bowman Lusambo says it’s not President Hakainde Hichilema’s job to announce when asset recovery will happen.
Commenting on President Hichilema’s remarks that government would in the next few days announce the first national asset recovery, Lusambo said President Hichilema should respect the autonomy of investigative wings.
“The President in the first place should not be announcing investigative wings’ works. Let the people of Zambia get it from the investigative wings. Remember, the President has put FIC and ACC under his office. The people of Zambia are worried, this is what the people of Zambia didn’t want to see. Remember when president (Michael) Sata took RDA to State House, the UPND cried the loudest that RDA should not be placed under the President’s office. All the government institutions carry delegated powers from the President. So, it is very necessary that we respect the autonomy of these institutions,” he said.
“For President Hichilema to announce that this week they will announce the recovery of money, that is not right, he is not the spokesperson for DEC, for police, he is not the spokesperson for ACC. Now that the President has announced that, people are expectant, they are expecting to see the massive recovery of money the President talked about. It is not necessary for the President to talk about all those things. Yes, he is the Head of State, he is the overseer but government has institutions which need to operate freely.”
Lusambo said people were worried that the decision to place investigative wings under the Office of the President was meant to fight political opponents.
“People are saying that the decision that the President has made to bring these institutions under his office is for the President to fight his perceived political opponents. In a democratic dispensation those sentiments are not supposed to come out, because in a democratic dispensation the President expects the opposition to thrive. It is healthy for him for the opposition to offer objective checks and balances. Let him be a democrat. One thing he should bear in mind is that immediately he was voted in on the 12th August 2021, the next is for him to be out of that office,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lusambo said President Hichilema should distance himself from investigative wings if he wanted to leave a legacy like Edgar Lungu.
“So, if he becomes objective, it will be easy for him to work. Remember we have presidents that have governed this country and they have left without any legacy. I wouldn’t love President Hakainde to be part of that list of presidents who have governed the country without any legacy. I want President Hichilema to join the list of sons of the soil like Edgar Chagwa Lungu, who is a very proud man. As he was leaving the office, he left his legacy in the public. For me, I would want the President to distance himself from the investigative wings,” said Lusambo.
“I would want the President again to distance himself because he will be blamed that he is the one who has been directing ACC and other investigative wings. In Zambia it is a system, it doesn’t just end at recovering and announcing, you need to prove beyond reasonable doubt. That is why there are courts of law. So, it is not necessary for the President to announce, let the investigative wings investigate. We have seen these things before, we have seen Mwanawasa’s regime, how some officers were excited, they were just pouncing on anything. At the end of the day nothing came into the coffers of the country. Money was spent, in fact money was wasted because it wasn’t spent wisely. The people that got rich were the lawyers who were assigned to work for that task force.”