THE Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) has arrested and charged Patriotic Front (PF) Acting President Given Lubinda for corruption involving more than $539,000.
And Lubinda says he agrees with former president Edgar Lungu’s remarks that there’s too much hypocrisy in the country.
Meanwhile, police disbursed some suspected UPND cadres who tried to attack PF choir members who went to offer solidarity to Lubinda as he appeared for questioning at the ACC headquarters.
In a statement, Monday, ACC spokesperson Queen Chibwe said Lubinda had been charged with five counts of possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
“The Anti- Corruption Commission has arrested and charged Patriotic Front acting president Given Lubinda for corruption involving more than US$539,000. Mr Lubinda 58, of plot 21841 Hillview Park Lusaka has been charged with five counts of possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to section 71 (1) of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of 2010, of the Laws of Zambia. Details in count one are that Mr Lubinda on 2nd April 2019 in Lusaka Province, did possess a house type S3-A+1 valued at US $260,000 situated at Kingsland City, Along Twin Palms Road, Ibex Hill Lusaka. Details in count two are that Mr Lubinda on 20th February 2019, did possess US $100, 000 in his account number 055-1026566 domiciled at ABSA Bank Zambia PLC,” said Chibwe.
“Details in count three are that Mr Lubinda on 23rd December 2019 did possess US $80, 000 in his account number 055-1026566 domiciled at ABSA Bank Zambia PLC. Details in count four (4) are that Mr Lubinda on 6th March 2018 did possess US $50,000 in his account number 055-1026566 domiciled at ABSA Bank Zambia PLC. Details in count five are that Mr Lubinda on 2nd April 2019 did possess US $49, 990 in his account number 055-1026566 domiciled at ABSA Bank Zambia PLC. The above properties are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime. Mr Lubinda has since been released on bond and will appear before Court soon.”
And speaking shortly after being released on bond, Lubinda said he could not agree more with Lungu.
“They say that there are no cadres but the ones who came and approached our people here, who are they? Are those gentlemen in suits? Where have they come from? If they are not cadres then who are they? Are those leaders of UPND? Is it an offence for members of the PF to come and see their president being arrested? What offence have they committed? They gathered here and in the presence of the police, they still came through. This shows you that we are in a crisis. We are in a country where people will tell you that this is white but in the night they turn it black. In the morning, they tell you that we are giving you freedom of expression but in the night they harass those expressing themselves,” Lubinda said.
“This is a hypocritical environment and I cannot agree more with Edgar Lungu. We go to bury Rupiah Banda and we call him a democrat and a reconciliator but we forget that a few years ago we were saying we cannot support him because he is a corrupt man. That is hypocrisy of the highest order. So we are living in a country of hypocrites.”
Lubinda wondered whether having dollars was a crime.
“In one account, the same Dollars have been counted and they are saying these are proceeds of crime. So they want to go to court so that they can prove how it is proceeds of crime. How many people in Zambia have Dollars in their accounts? Is being in possession of Dollars in your account now a crime? So they have to go and prove this in court? And I am happy that it has happened. All this time I was walking the streets of Lusaka and people were thinking I am a thief. Finally, they have given me an opportunity to go and prove in court that I am a thief. Friends of mine in the PF, for them to come for me, you should know that no one is safe,” he said.
“All of us in the PF just be ready and when they call you to the police, please volunteer and go quickly so that we can prove ourselves innocent and they will have nothing to talk about. Instead of fixing drugs in hospitals, they are calling us thieves. They are saying there are no drugs in Hospitals because PF stole. Now they even used expired drugs and gave them to people and now they do not even have Panadol in hospitals. What kind of government is that? I can assure you that he too, his day is coming. He shall not be President of Zambia forever. Even if he attempts to amend the constitution to make himself vice president of the country like he made himself vice president of the UPND, we shall not allow it.”
He said he was happy government was following his advice on handling corruption-accused persons.
“I am very happy that my advice to the new dawn government has now been listened to. This idea of saying ‘criminals come and volunteer cannot work’. That notion is stigmatising everybody. They are not giving anyone an opportunity to prove their innocence. Those who are alleged to have committed crimes must be brought before the law. That is what any civilised society does. You do not just go round saying these are thieves, so come and we will give you amnesty. Those that you think have committed crimes send them to law enforcement agencies and let them face the law so that they can acquit themselves,” Lubinda said.
Lubinda said he would show the whole world that borrowing money had now become a criminal offence in Zambia.
“I shall be appearing in court on the 21st of April and all of you are welcome so that you can come and listen to the drama that will take place in court. You should come and listen when the prosecution will try to prove that indeed I am guilty. I want to show the whole world that in Zambia to borrow money has now become a criminal offence. When a company borrowed money from another company, you commit an offence. This is what is on trial on the 21st of April,” said Lubinda.
Meanwhile, police disbursed suspected UPND cadres who tried to attack PF choir members.
However, no arrests were made as police managed to calm the situation by protecting PF members from harassment.