JUSTICE Minister Mulambo Haimbe has insisted that President Hakainde Hichilema can never meet any person faced with criminal charges for the purposes of subverting the course of justice.

Meanwhile, Haimbe has warned government officials that a breach of secrecy or confidentiality has consequences.

Asked if there was a meeting between the President and Milingo Lungu when he appeared on ZNBC’s The Update programme, Thursday, Haimbe insisted that there was never a meeting where the Head of State met someone facing criminal charges.

“That question, I think as I explained last time now, we have a one-sided story by way of a petition and a supporting affidavit which alleges certain facts that have been filed into court. One of those facts that are being alleged is that His Excellency met Mr Lungu. Of course, we cannot start to go into the merits and demerits of a matter which is before court. But I think the bigger picture here…and Mr Anthony Bwalya was very clear during the press statement. And by the way, let us also be clear that we are specifically talking about the criminal jurisdiction, not necessarily the civil jurisdiction or what happened on the civil side of things. We are talking about the question of whether or not the President would meet with any person faced with criminal charges for the purposes of subverting the course of justice, very specific terms that we are discussing,” Haimbe said.

“Did the President give Mr Lungu audience for the purpose of saying ‘I will give you immunity so that you don’t face prosecution’, that is the question at hand. And the answer that has been given generally is that there is not a single time that the President will meet anybody for the purpose of subverting the course of justice, a person who is in conflict with the law. I think the answer is exceptionally clear. There is no need for us to beat about the bush.”

Asked to address assertions that government was targeting politically inclined persons, Haimbe said it only seemed that way because most PF members were seemingly corrupt.

“No, certainly the target is not for politically inclined persons. It would seem that way because our colleagues in the previous regime, a good number of them seemed to have attached themselves to this propensity, the proclivity to be attracted to perhaps not the best kind of behaviour in terms of management of public resources. I am picking my words extremely carefully. So, the fight against corruption, we said from the word go, we will have no tolerance for this. The President, as the top policy holder on behalf of the government and Executive said it very clearly. No tolerance for corruption, past, present and future,” he said.

Asked if law enforcement agencies and other government agencies were disjointed as evidenced by statements issued by the DPP and one the of law enforcement agencies, Haimbe said; “certainly there is no dis-joiner if I can use that term.”

Further asked why it took so long to clear perceptions in the case of government’s relationship with the DPP, Haimbe said it was because matters were being politicised.

“The reason we are having these perceptions is because a lot of these matters are being politicised. Ours is a function of saying let us work for the people of Zambia. We want to come away from the past where everything was politicised. This very issue that we are discussing today is being politicised. As we speak, the publicity chairman, whatever he is called Mr [Raphael] Nakacinda of the opposition PF has been on radio politicising this matter and speaking untruths in the process. This is why you see that it becomes a propaganda game instead of being a game about the interests of the republic. The issue of KCM is a huge issue, that is a huge national asset. So for us, our job is to make sure that the asset is protected as a government and to make sure that the interests of the people of Zambia are protected in that process,” Haimbe said.

Meanwhile, a caller only identified as Soko wondered why there was a leakage of government information on social media, and in response, Haimbe said it was unfortunate.

“It is unfortunate and I don’t know how Mr Soko expects that we should be able to answer it. What I can say is that there will be unscrupulous people in every institution. There will be a situation when you hand over power from one administrative regime to the next. Those that do not buy in the vision of the new administrative regime who probably do things that they ought not to do, and a typical example is the confidential letter between the DPP and the office of the director general of DEC. Several other pieces of information have gone out,” said Haimbe.

“These I could put down to a large degree to some teething problems. And of course, the politicisation of the affairs of government. But we are not sitting idle. We are stamping it out. Those who involve themselves in those processes should understand that the handbooks are very clear, the terms and conditioning are very clear under which we function as government individuals and the breach of confidentiality or breach of secrecy has consequences. So, there will be outcomes for those who involve themselves in such.”