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TRIAL BY MEDIA IS A DANGER TO THE NATION

By ADRIAN MWANZA

TRIAL by media should not be allowed because it plunged former Presidents Fredrick Chiluba and Rupiah Banda in dreadful situation when they were accused of corruption but acquitted by the courts of law, Citizens Democratic Party (CDP) president Robert Mwanza has said.

DEC and ACC operatives associated with the infamous Task Force on Corruption are reported to be leaking alleged corruption investigations to seek favour with the new UPND regime. Mr Mwanza said the media was abused to persecute the two former Presidents. “This should not be allowed going forward,” he said.

Mr Mwanza also said it was a mockery of justice for DEC, ACC and other agencies to start prosecuting PF officials now when they have been moribund during the reign of the outgoing government which gave them space to operate.

Mr Mwanza questioned where DEC and ACC have been for them to think of prosecuting PF officials now. He said in an interview that President Edgar Lungu had given the investigative wings space to operate independently.

Mr Mwanza challenged government institutions like the DEC and ACC to be professional because they risked being perceived as puppets of the government of the day. He said revelations that President Lungu’s close ally Valden Findlay’s accounts had been frozen by DEC were unfortunate and would send a wrong signal to the public.

Mr Mwanza wondered why the DEC would think of prosecuting Mr Findlay now when he had been in Zambia all this time. He said this would be perceived as a witch-hunt and that people were using the institutions to fight their perceived rivals.

Meanwhile, President-Elect Hakainde Hichilema yesterday held a meeting with the Director Generals of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Anti -Corruption Commission (ACC) and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC).

Mr Hichilema said in Facebook posting that they all briefed him on how they have been working. “These institutions are key in governance and ensuring accountability for public resources. Our administration will fully support these institutions so that they can carry out their mandates without political interference,” he said.

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