Local News

GRAFT FIGHT NOT ETHNIC

…No sacred cows when dealing with those cited in FIC report - HH

BY NATION REPORTER

IT’S mischievous to characterise the campaign against corruption as an ethnic crusade because there are no sacred cows, President Hakainde Hichilema has said.

Mr Hichilema, speaking on arrival from Rwanda said the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) report which deals with corruption cases will be handed to investigative wings for them to look at without adulteration.

He said the narrative that the fight against corruption was ethnic was unacceptable and that his government would not condone.

“People should refuse the machination that the fight against corruption is ethnic,” he said.

He said the law enforcement agencies will carry out their mandate in dealing with the suspicious financial transactions reported in the FIC report.

In its latest report, the FIC reported seizing 55 bank accounts, eight commercial banks and froze amounts  worth US$30.3 million and K292 million in relation to suspicious activities. 

And President Hichilema said although the report has not yet been presented to him, he is not surprised with the revelations it contains.

Mr Hichilema has promised to make the report available to investigative wings – Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Zambia Police – when it will be presented to him and his team, without alterations.

Those found wanting will be prosecuted in line with the law.

Before travelling to Rwanda, the President had gone to Belgium, where he addressed the EU Parliament where he was given a standing ovation.

President Hichilema, who has pledged to rid the country of corruption, condemned the act of misusing public resources by those entrusted to lead in public offices saying such conduct derails the country’s developmental agenda.

And ZANIS reports that Mr Hichilema has urged various stakeholders, including the media and the public, to also review the document and assist the government to enhance the fight against corruption.

He also warned that there will be no sacred cows in the fight against corruption.

“It is the oversight institutions that we set and decided that this is the way we are going to run our country. The difference this time is that the whole report will be presented to the law enforcement agencies without alterations,” President Hichilema stated.

He said the action which will be taken against individuals suspected to have been involved in corrupt practices should not be perceived as a target at certain ethnic groupings.

Mr Hichilema has meanwhile called on the media to help change the narrative and prove that the action against corrupt individuals is meant to warn would-be offenders to do the right thing when entrusted to serve in public offices.        

“Those of us who support that idea should stop because you are encouraging corruption and denying funds meant for development projects such as purchase of desks in schools under the free education policy, improved water supply, and avoid load shedding,” he said.

The President said Rwanda has good leadership with visible development and young people moving around in the night without committing crime and oversight institutions arresting corrupt individuals.

He said this should be the democratic process that the country should be heading to.

The FIC reported a 13 percent increase in the number of suspicious financial transactions involving K3.56 billion, from 145, 852 currency transactions compared to K3.14 billion recorded in 2020 from 129, 826 cash transactions.

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