Listening to the level of attacks from top government officials in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services targeted at the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Director-General, one would think it is a private institution causing problems for the State. The tone of voice and degree of disgust expressed by Information Minister Dora Siliya and her Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo against FIC Director-General Mary Chirwa is as if she has personally offended them in the most disrespectful manner.
“Ms Chirwa’s response is unprofessional and uncalled for from a person presiding over an important governance institution. We have a situation where the President has spoken on the FIC Report; my Minister, Honourable Siliya on Sunday during The Sunday Interview spoke at length about the FIC Report; it is shocking that a technical person could go and label people who are merely being accused. You can’t go to the public and call people who made suspicious cash transfers as criminals even before they are taken to court. That is failure to assume someone innocent until proven guilty, so you are becoming judge and jury in yourself. I am very disappointed with this FIC Director General,” said Kasolo in addition to what his Minister said on ZNBC television.
We have nothing against Mr Kasolo and Honourable Siliya on this topic. We believe that these two are merely doing their unfortunate jobs of defending this PF regime, in sickness and in health, for better for worse, for richer, for poorer, until the criminals above do their part. So, we refuse to be distracted by their deliberate misinformed arguments. Dora Siliya and Chanda Kasolo are among the most intelligent officials in this government and they know when what they are saying doesn’t make sense. In fact, that is why they are employed: specifically to sell nonsense to the public as if it makes sense.
To a person who is able to read between the lines, there is no more pretence that can deceive the public now. It is clear for all to see that the end-game for this government is to shut down the Financial Intelligence Centre or reduce it to a little department of another existing, but compromised institution such as the Anti-Money Laundering Unit under the Drug Enforcement Commission or make it a unit under the Office of the President. What laws will need to be changed to achieve this is what is now keeping them busy, but the end-game is clear, and the deciders have decided.
If the President has condemned the FIC, or the FCU as he prefers to call it when his happiness is induced, then Cabinet Ministers have also followed suit! Who in government can stand up to defend the institution? One can only imagine how excited the accused persons in the FIC disseminations are because now, they know that they are winning.
Surely, what kind of government is this? Doesn’t it surprise anyone that the public that elected President Lungu, Dora Siliya and others who are in power is supporting the FIC, but those in elective offices are against it? Which public are they serving, then? In whose interest are they acting when they demand that the FIC must be disbanded? Why are they fighting an institution that has so much public approval and support?
Look at what is happening. The Drug Enforcement Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, the Zambia Revenue Authority and government ministries, have all ganged up to fight one person at the FIC. They are looking for all sorts of reasons and excuses for doing what they have been failing to do all along. They want Chirwa out and the FIC dead and buried.
We are saying to President Lungu: Sir, please go ahead and close down the FIC so that you and your friends can make as many fraudulent financial transactions as you please! You are the boss! You have the support of your Cabinet, your State House staff, and the accused criminals. Shut it down so that you can steal peacefully.
You have demonstrated in the past that you have the capacity to crush powerful private companies, who is Mary Chirwa to stop you? Who is John Kasanga to stand in your way? After all, this is your government and you are the Great Leader! Just say it like you did on Konkola Copper Mines: “It’s time to divorce the FIC”, do it!
But as you do, remember that the will of the people always wins, it may take years, but it finally passes. In every elective leadership circle, people’s power stands out to be absolute. You are fighting the wishes of the majority of citizens to please a handful of the rich. You will remember these institutions that you are destroying today, Mr President, because Karma ni solola!