The Law Association of Zambia has been inundated with requests from various stakeholders to comment on the alleged investigations by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of the two members of the Executive namely Hon. Wynter Kabimba and Hon. Geoffrey B. Mwamba. We as an Association have not commented on the matter in order to allow the ACC to carry out its work without undue influence. However, we were at the outset sceptical at the genuineness of the investigations considering that the two were serving cabinet ministers. We however, hoped that the ACC would act professionally.
The recent events surrounding this so called investigation are making us lean towards a view that the whole process is a masquerade by the ACC and the government to hoodwink the public that the government is investigating the two Ministers in an attempt to convince the public that Government is serious about the fight against corruption
The behaviour of the Hon. Minister of Justice in firstly writing to ACC to demand for a report, secondly to threaten to sue them and lastly to refuse to be interviewed in the absence of his sympathisers or PF Party cadres is a mockery of the justice system and has only served to undermine the criminal justice system.
The Minister of Justice being at the helm of the justice system in the country should be the last person to display the kind of behaviour broadcast in the press yesterday. As a lawyer, the Minister need not be reminded that he swore an oath to defend and protect the constitution and this includes respecting law enforcement agencies. It has always been the practise that suspects are interviewed in the presence of their lawyers and not party cadres or sympathisers. We fail to see why the Minister should demand to be treated differently.
It is clear to us that for as long as the Hon. Winter Kabimba and Hon. Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba remain in their positions it will not be possible for the ACC to carry out their investigations independently
Accordingly, if indeed there is a serious fight against corruption, we call upon the Republican President as appointing authority to send the two Ministers on Leave until the investigations are concluded.
We further demand that the ACC act firmly in dealing with suspects no matter what position they hold. The ACC have clearly acted unprofessionally in dealing with these matters and this selective type of treatment must stop with immediate effect. We doubt they would have allowed that kind of behaviour had it been from an ordinary member of the public
At the same time the ACC are urged to act speedily and professionally to conclude their investigations because the longer an investigation takes the more damage is done to one’s reputation should one be eventually exonerated.