Amnesty for thieves not good for fighting corruption corruption

Amnesty for thieves not good for fighting corruption corruption

????????Has the Money really been surrendered to the state or bigger thieves have shared it??

????????We doubt those ACC guys gave Faith Amnesty for free. We highly doubt that.

By Richard Waga

The news that Faith Musonda will walk, despite being found with money suspected to be proceeds of crime, should be judged with fairness, morality and public interest in mind. To help us do that, let us keep in mind that a chicken stealer is serving a two-year jail sentence right now while being fed by tax payers at least K500 per month. Whilst those who stole from tax payers have a red carpet escape route.

The ACC released a very unsatisfactory statement in which they laboured to justify their decision without addressing the bone of contention. The bone of contention being explaining how money was stolen and who colluded with Faith Musonda.

From the statement released, there are several disturbing facts:

1. The joint team of Anti-Corruption Commission, Zambia Police Service, Drug Enforcement Commission and Financial Intelligence Centre only carried out 9 hours of interrogations, in which according to News Diggers sources, Musonda did not give out much. The question that begs an answer is whether they exhausted their investigation with other methods and this meagre 9 hours of questioning?

2. Section 80 of the Anti-Corruption Act No.3 of 2012 has caught a lot of Zambians by surprise and has raised a lot of anxiety among citizen on how such a law can potentially allow criminals to go scot free. Zambians need clarity from the LEA on how such a method will be punitive and a deterrent to potential plunderers. Amnesty should not be this cheap, if she won’t go to jail, it must be made clear what other forms of punishment she will suffer. Returning what does not belong to you is not punishment.

3. The ACC have cited how section 80 allows amnesty to be granted in certain instances but statement does not explain how Musonda’s met that criteria. Naturally we would have expected thieves to opt for amnesty after seeing fellow thieves get arrest, but it appears Musonda and her people were calling the shots.

4. Section 80 (3)(a) requires Musonda to fully disclose the related illegal activity she conducted but that important detail is inconspicuously missing from the ACC statement. ACC cannot declare victory, without educating the public what crimes were committed by Faith Musonda against the Zambian.

5. Whilst the ACC has repossessed the house belonging the Musonda’s company, OCK investment Limited, the ACC statement is not clear on whether they have also seized all the assets belonging to the company including cash and other investmets.

The conclusion by ACC that Faith Musonda has fullfilled all the requirements of Section 80, does not close their duty of accountability. So far, apart from the recovery of funds, the public interest of deterring crime is not fully ascertained in this case. The public interest on knowing where the money was stolen from is not met. The public interest of understanding the role BOZ played and the need to fire the collaborators has not been met. The public interest on understanding the capacity of FIC, ACC, ZP and DEC for them to settle of this short-cut approach has not been met.

This news may be progressive compared to what we experienced under the PF administration, but it has the hallmarks of the PF’s inclination towards being soft of thieves. It is hard to see why so much about this case has been kept under wraps. It is very uncomfortable for citizens to see that people still at DEC and DPP are part of Lungu’s network of puppets. Won’t we see this approach being used by PF allies in DEC, even when cases are easily prosecutable?

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