TRANSPARENCY International Zambia (TI-Z) says it doesn’t come as a surprise when law enforcement agencies pounce on former Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo because he gave them every reason to question him.

And TIZ says it does not agree with PF’s position that arrests of former cabinet ministers are politically motivated.

In an interview, TIZ executive director Maurice Nyambe said he hoped the ongoing investigations would give Lusambo an opportunity to explain his wealth.

“TI-Z has noted the ACC’s decision to arrest former Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo on allegations of corruption. From our point of view, Mr Lusambo’s arrest does not come as a surprise because he was one of several PF officials and cadres who used to engage in opulent flaunting of wealth in the form of dishing out money to members of the public during the run up to the August 2021 elections. We raised concern back then about this blatant flaunting of wealth and questioned the legitimacy of its origin,” he said.

“It is therefore not a surprise to see law enforcement agencies pouncing on the former Minister because he effectively put himself in the limelight for the wrong reasons, and gave law enforcement agencies every reason to question him. Having said that, we do understand the principle of everyone being innocent until proven guilty and we urge members of the public to bear this in mind even in the case of Mr Lusambo. It is our hope that the process the ACC is engaged in will give Mr Lusambo the opportunity to answer to the allegations that have been leveled against him and that ultimately the truth will emerge.”

And Nyambe said TIZ did not agree with the PF’s position that the arrests of former cabinet ministers was political persecution.

“We do not agree with the PF’s position that this is political persecution. It is a well known fact that the PF were the ruling party and therefore the ones in control of public funds. It therefore follows that where there are concerns about how those public funds were utilised, the people to be questioned should be the ones who were in charge of those public funds,” said Nyambe.