By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
THE Patriotic Front (PF) has protested the harassment of its members by the investigative wings and has gone further to file a lawsuit against Government in the Lusaka High Court to stop security agencies from intimidation and illegal questioning.
In the lawsuit filed yesterday, PF Secretary-General Davies Mwila claimed that their members are being threatened by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) with prosecution if they do not disclose the source of campaign funds for the 2021 August 12 general elections.
Mr Mwila has insisted that the funds used in the elections was not money laundering and will prove so at trial.
Thus, the PF is claiming that Government pays it damages for intimidation and harassment of its members.
The party is also seeking damages for misrepresentation and defamation of character following allegations by DEC that the PF’s source of fund was linked to money laundering.
PF seeks a declaratory order not to compel it to disclose the source of funding for the elections.
It also wants the High Court to declare that funding of the general elections is not money laundering.
PF has cited the Attorney General as defendant in the matter.
Mr Mwila stated that it was shocking that out of the 16 political parties which participated in the August 12 elections, only PF had been singled out and targeted by DEC.
He said the discriminatory attack on the party has instilled fear in the minds of its members.
This is because DEC summoned its media director, Mr Antonio Mwanza and interrogated him on matters to do with the party’s source of campaign funds.
“The plaintiff will show and prove at trial that the defendant has continued to exert pressure on the plaintiff’s junior functionaries to disclose the source of funding for its campaign activities and on 22nd September, 2021, officers under the Anti-Laundering Unit of DEC summoned Mr Teddy Mambepa, an officer of the party, for interrogation and the subject of the investigation is the source of the party’s funds in the 2021 general elections,” he stated.
Mr Mwila contended that the welfare and rights of the party members and employees at the secretariat are at risk due to the intimidation, victimisation and harassment from DEC.