Lungu, Kapata face arrest for breaching State Security Act

Lungu, Kapata face arrest for breaching State Security Act

Ministers Jean Kapata and Edgar Lungu maybe arrested for breaching the State Security Act, the Watchdog has been informed.

Lungu, Kapata and Newton Nguni, a former deputy minister in the Fredrick Chiluba era are said to be under investigation for leaking classified information, namely proceedings of a cabinet meeting.

Nguni

Nguni

The trio have sworn affidavits in court stating that minister of Justice Edgar Lungu was forced to surrender presidential powers to Guy Scott.

The one who seems in more trouble is Jean Kapata who as a cabinet minister sworn to secrecy is said to have given Nguni the minutes of the cabinet meeting.

Section 5 of the State Security Act states that, ‘any person who communicates any classified matter to any person other than a person to whom he is authorised to communicate it or to whom it is in the interests of the Republic his duty to communicate it shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than fifteen years but not exceeding twenty-five years.

The same Act says that ‘in a prosecution for a contravention of this law, ‘it shall be no defence for the accused person to prove that when he communicated the matter he did not know and could not reasonably have known that it was classified matter.’

On Friday, when matter was heard in chambers (privately), Attorney-General Musa Mwenye told the court that people who gave Nguni the information committed an offence.

Mwenye asked the court to adjourn the matter so that he and Anthony Kasolo, the other lawyer for Scott, could analyse the matter further.

But the Watchdog has been informed that Mwenye wants to give time to law enforcement agents to investigate and see if Kapata, Nguniu and Lungu can be arrested and charged for breaking the law.

 

“The factual issues raised are almost entirely on Cabinet proceedings, which are by their very nature, top secret proceedings,” Mwenye submitted. “These Cabinet proceedings have to a very large extent been distorted and have on the other hand been purportedly revealed by the applicant [Ng’uni], who is not authorised to have access to top secret communication, and in other instances may have been purportedly disclosed by persons who have not been authorised to disclose top secret communications.”

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