FORMER Lusaka Province Minister Bowman Lusambo says he wishes the Anti-Corruption Commission the best of luck as they embark on proving that he owns the properties which he is being accused of acquiring corruptly.

And Lusambo says the ACC should be the one to explain why his face was swollen after being interrogated on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, MPOROKOSO PF member of parliament Brian Mundubile says investigative wings are under immense pressure to detain innocent citizens without evidence.

Speaking when the duo featured on Diamond TV, Wednesday, Lusambo said ACC had manufactured properties which they wanted to give him.

“The reasons why I spent in cells are not because of what the ACC is saying concerning the properties which they have manufactured. They have manufactured properties which they want to give me and I am willing to receive those properties. By the time I was being charged, I told the officers who were charging me that I want you to give me all these properties. So for me, I am very happy that the ACC has given me those plots and properties they have been communicating to the nation,” Lusambo said.

“I will be very happy to have those properties. The 4 properties cited in the statement, I am aware of, are mine. The ones which they mentioned in the statement are mine. One of the properties is my house indicated there. I do not know where they are getting the other properties. I built that house before even coming into government. If you go to Kabushi, they will tell you that Bowman was coming with different cars before joining government. So for me, I am not going to be debating the issue of properties at this point because there is an investigation going on. I just wish the investigative wing the best of luck because it is up to them to prove. The point is you cannot steal government money. Let us fight corruption objectively.”

Lusambo said the commission was trying to brand members of the previous government as corrupt.

“It is a laughing matter and that is why I am telling you that you tell the ACC that I am very happy that they have given me those properties. I want to tell the people of Zambia that let them just wait for us to go to court and the truth will come out. We know that there is an activity going on out there of trying to dent the PF and members of the previous government with the term of corruption. It is a laughing matter because the only house I have as my house is the house I live in. This house can never be connected to any form of corruption because I have been working and the revenue which I get I cannot fail to build my house,” he said.

“The problem we have in our country is that we do not want to progress but we only want to clap for others. This country belongs to us. We have been supporting the fight against corruption and President Hakainde Hichilema just has to know that. Former president Edgar Lungu was always on us as Ministers trying to promote the fight against corruption. What we are seeing today is not a fight against corruption but it is persecution and the government is trying to silence the perceived political enemies and that is not democracy.”

Lusambo questioned the ACC’s delay to question him about his properties.

“We want to tell the people of Zambia is the reason I went to ACC has got nothing to do with charges I have been given. The biggest problem that landed me at ACC is the IMF. The issue of me being investigated started the day when I took the letter to the IMF country representative here in Zambia. We demanded for the government to be transparent with information containing with conditions with the IMF. We demanded for full disclosure of conditions which the IMF has given to Zambia. We are very shocked that President Hakainde Hichilema who participated in the privitisation of this country and he witnessed the suffering of our people during that time. The ACC has been there so why come to Bowman today? If ACC knew about these properties, they were supposed to pounce on me and question me,” he wondered.

And when asked about his swollen eye after interrogations on Tuesday, Lusambo said the ACC would be in the best position to answer.

“The best person to answer that question is the ACC because I was in the hands of the ACC. So if you can pose that question to the ACC, they will answer it very well. I want you to ask the ACC because they will be in a good position to answer that question. For me, I want to tell our people that I am in very high spirits,” said Lusambo.

Meanwhile, Mundubile said UPND had taken a selective approach in the fight against corruption.

“When you look at the pattern of these arrests, they clearly point to political persecution. So what we want to appeal to President Hakainde Hichilema is that as he embarks on this fight against corruption, it must be done diligently and it must be a fight with sincerity. A real fight against corruption is that even in the eyes of the people it should be seen to be a fight meant to bring this fight to an end,” Mundubile said.

Mundubile said PF members were being detained for more than 48 hours contrary to President Hakainde Hichilema’s instruction.

“I think what you find unusual is that the only people that are being arrested are political opponents. Secondly, President Hakainde Hichilema was very categorical when he was instructing the law enforcement agencies and investigative wings. He said do not effect any arrests before you investigate. What we are seeing is that our members are sometimes detained for as long as 11 days when the President had directed that no one should be detained beyond 48 hours on a bondable offence. So meaning that in many cases, our members are picked, detained and then inquiries begin from there which is totally against the law. It is also against what the President directed,” said Mundubile.

“The fight against corruption must be taken to another level. It must be a fight that is not meant to persecute people and it is not meant for political vengeance. We have very competent people in these investigative wings including the ACC. What we have seen now is that they are operating under duress because politicians start by making statements and these officers are placed under immense pressure to a point where even when there is no evidence they are forced to effect arrests and detain innocent citizens. What has changed this time around is that the ACC is operating under pressure and duress. That is why we are seeing so many arrests after which you do not hear anything from them because they would have moved on to a case where there is no evidence at all.”