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‘CAMPAIGN FUNDING PROBE ILLEGAL’

…DEC probe on PF financing if genuine should start with UPND – Chifumu Banda


By GIDEON NYENDWA and PRISCA LUMINGU
THE continued investigations over the source of funding for PF campaigns by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) are illegal as they are not backed by law, Lusaka-based lawyer Chifumu Banda has said.


Mr. Banda said if the probe on source of campaign funding by DEC was genuine, it would have started with the now ruling party.
“This can at least show that they are transparent in what they are doing,” he said
Mr Banda said it was very questionable that the investigations were only targeting the former ruling party.


This follows revelations that DEC had written to some media houses requesting them to provide information and documentation relating to contracts they signed with the PF to run campaign adverts.
Mr Banda said the continued investigations of the PF funding were illegal.
He said there was no law that compels political parties including the ruling party to reveal the source of their campaign funding.


Mr. Banda said if the DEC or any other investigative wings want any political party to reveal their source of funding they should make sure that they do that for all political parties including the party in power now.
He said whatever investigations that DEC was carrying out they should make sure that they adhere to the civilised norms of conducting investigations.

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Mr. Banda said if DEC does not request the ruling party to disclose the source of funding for their campaigns then there is no need to force the opposition to disclose the source of funding.
“What is good for the goose is good for the gander,” he said.


He said if DEC was not partisan let them start by requesting the ruling party to lead by example.
Mr. Banda said that what they are doing now is trying to show the people that they are working when they are just there to harass perceived political opponents.


According to letters dated October 1, 2021 signed by DEC Anti Money Laundering Investigations Unit Senior Assistant Commissioner P.C Besa, the commission was requesting media houses to furnish it with relevant documentations showing the mode and proof of payments.


Ms. Besa also indicated that there will be need to record statements from media houses officials at an appropriate time.


Earlier, PF Secretary-General Davies Mwila disclosed that the former ruling party was being investigated over its campaign funding.
Mr Mwila and PF Media Director, Antonio Mwanza have since been quizzed by the DEC.

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