Former Director-General for the Zambia Intelligence and Security Services Xavier Chungu says activities of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) are covert and should not be in public domain.
Chungu was arrested and jailed for theft and plunder of national resources during his tenure as director of the intelligence.
But now ex-convictee Chungu said in an interview with the DAILY MAIL that the FIC is supposed to work quietly in advising Government and other security wings about illicit financial activities.
“My personal opinion is that that institution should have been a very quiet institution. It is a silent institution that helps fight all these crimes using investigative wings without any publicity at all.
“Otherwise, we will just end up embarrassing ourselves. To be transparent does not mean you are going to be writing everything in the public domain. I don’t see any other country in the world which does that. I don’t agree with what is going on,” Mr Chungu said.
According to Chungu, it is not right to delve into private accounts and start talking in public.
He said FIC is supposed to operate within its mandate by working closely with Government and other countries on money laundering and terrorism-related matters.
“I would rather not have that institution in the public domain, probably under the institution of the intelligence, not even the police. That is a very serious institution world over,” Mr Chungu said.
Mr Chungu said if the intention of FIC was to start throwing stones in the public, then Zambia can’t develop.
“I have been to many institutions and exposed to the intelligence. That institution is not supposed to be talked about in the public. Why does everybody want to be in the newspaper?
“I don’t think this is the way we should handle things in Zambia. Even the appointment of the people managing that institution should not have been political. It should have been under the intelligence,” Mr Chungu said.
He said FIC is an appendage of the intelligence and should always be above board.
Two weeks ago, Financial Intelligence Centre director general Mary Tshuma released the money laundering, terrorist financing trends report for last year.
The report indicted some politically-exposed persons and accusing them of embezzling a total of K4.5 billion through tax evasion [K3.9 billion], corruption [K500 million] and money laundering [K90.5 million].
President Lungu said it is unfair for some civil society organisations to demand through social media platforms that action be taken when the FIC report has not been thoroughly investigated by law enforcement agencies.