DRUG Enforcement Commission Director General Mary Chirwa says the Commission is not persecuting anyone, stressing that the evidence it has against former Foreign Affairs Minister Joe Malanji is credible and will stand in court.
Last week, DEC through its Anti-Money Laundering unit, arrested Malanji who is Kwacha PF Member of Parliament, for money laundering activities involving K10 million and $700,000.
The Commission went further to seize Malanji’s Gibson Royal Hotel in Kitwe together with two of his helicopters which were in South Africa.
However, the former minister threatened to sue the commission for damages, saying he had never bought anything using proceeds of crime.
“Those people who know me in Kitwe when you look at even when they say we are seizing the hotel, people who know me from Kitwe know when I bought those premises. It was way back before I even had an idea of being an MP. At the end of the day, there will be repercussions, I mean I am going to sue. There will also be a provision for me, I am a citizen and there is a provision for me to sue for damages. Those who know me, know what is obtaining. I have never had anything bought from proceeds of crime myself,” said Malanji.
But in an interview, Chirwa said DEC was a professional body and not in the business of persecuting innocent people.
When asked whether threats from politicians were affecting the investigative process, Chirwa said the Commission was not distracted, as there was evidence against Malanji that would stand in court.
“Definitely not, we are not distracted by distractors. We are basically a professional institution and whatever matter that we handle, we handle it professionally. Anything that you read in the papers, it means we ourselves as the Drug Enforcement Commission are convinced that the evidence we have is one that will stand before the courts of law. So there is no persecution, we are just doing our work professionally and we shall not be threatened by anyone.” she said.
And Chirwa said there was need to enact the Mental Health Bill to help reduce the number of children involved in drug addiction.
“If you see how the Drug Enforcement Commission operates where education and counselling is concerned, this is a psycho-social problem and then we refer our clients to Chainama Hospital or other hospitals. We hope that this bill will be able to put up a system that will help the many children out there, this problem ranges even from nine year olds to even 50 year olds,” said Chirwa.
“So we hope that this particular bill will be able to look at all these particular aspects, the issue of diversion on how we can help those that have been affected and rehabilitate them. It is needed as yesterday, because we can see that this problem has been growing and therefore the earlier you put mechanisms in place, the better.”