JUSTICE Minister Mulambo Haimbe says PF should concentrate their efforts on defending themselves in the courts of law, rather than making political statements to keep themselves relevant when their party is dying.
In an interview, Haimbe said the ongoing cases involving PF members had nothing to do with political persecution, but the chickens were beginning to come home to roost.
“These ongoing cases have got nothing to do with political persecution. It is merely the law taking its course. Not Mr [Given] Lubinda or anybody else will prevent the law from taking its course. The chickens are beginning to come home to roost and people should not cry foul as a result. Let them concentrate their efforts on going to the courts of law and defend themselves and following the due process of the law rather than making political statements to keep themselves relevant. And quite obviously, it is a dying political party,” he said.
And commenting on PF acting president Given Lubinda’s complaint that the shifting of investigative wings to the Office of the President was meant to abuse authority, Haimbe said that was nonsensical.
“That is baseless and I am sorry that I will use the word nonsensical. The shifting of statutory functions has nothing to do with the operations of the specific entities that for administrative purposes only, are placed under the office of the President. For example, the Judiciary is for administrative purposes one of the bodies that are under the Ministry of Justice. Does that mean I dictate how the Judiciary undertakes its function? The answer to that question is a clear no. The administrative purposes of Gazette notice number 1123 was merely to place these institutions under a specific organ for purposes of for example appropriating funds under the budget for their use,” he said.
“That is separate from their operational independence which is guaranteed by the Constitution. If honourable Lubinda was the Minister of Justice and he knows that very well, he should not start turning around and behaving like a person who is ignorant or busy. These are basic functions of government. So where an entity is placed for its administrative convenience has got nothing to do with its operational independence. That must be very clear.”
Haimbe said the Judiciary and law enforcement agencies were now enjoying their independence contrary to what was witnessed in the past.
“As the new dawn government, we have repeatedly said that we will not interfere with law enforcement agencies and with other constitutional bodies that have got their mandate which they need to execute. In this case, the Judiciary is actually enjoying its independence now, contrary to what we have seen in the past and similarly with law enforcement agencies. It is a no brainer and you can see the direct cause and effects of the actions of the particular individuals. Talking about honourable [Raphael] Nakacinda, he was uttering statements aimed at inflaming the country on tribal grounds. How does honourable Lubinda ignore the fact that individuals involved in that have a consequence that draws law enforcement upon [themselves]? It has got nothing to do with the press conference and any instructions being given,” said Haimbe.
“We will not relent in the fight against corruption and ACC has explained very clearly with respect to honourable Chitotela the basis on which it has moved. Honourable Chitotela was a beneficiary of an undertaking that the ACC should not prosecute him subject to him making a full and frank disclosure of assets that could have been gotten by way of illegal means. It turns out that disclosure was not full and frank. He did a partial disclosure which therefore makes him amenable to be investigated further. These individuals have the benefit of going before the fast track court where they will be given the platform to exculpate themselves. So why should honourable Lubinda who was Minister of Justice and knows these things very well start panicking now on their behalf?”