UK is watching Zambia’s Corruption with keen interest – Envoy

UK is watching Zambia’s Corruption with keen interest – Envoy

British High Commissioner to Zambia, Fergus Cochrane-Dyet says the United Kingdom is watching with keen interest Zambia’s fight against (or lack of it)corruption.

Cochrane-Dyet says his government has welcomed the decision to submit to law enforcement agencies the Financial Intelligence Report 2017 Trends Report.

The controversial diplomat tweeted shortly after meeting Zambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joe Malanji and disowning his earlier tweets;

“Thank you Hon Minister Mulanji for our joint press conference. I welcomed Govt’s instructions to law enforcement agencies to up their game on corruption. As a friend of #Zambia the UK watches with interest. https://t.co/fr3m7jkMWA”

Malanji summoned Cochrane-Dyet for his strong tweets against government and its officials over corruption and governance issues.

Malanji accused the High Commissioner of using irregular channels to air his grievances.

But at a joint press conference with Malanji at Foreign Affairs Headquarters, Cochrane-Dyet blamed social media and the Zambian Watchdog for his troubles.

“It is important to look at what I said in these tweets rather than look at what others have said I said.” He explained.

“Actually look at my Twitter feed and you will see for yourselves what I said. But I do express concern about corruption, of course I do, it is very important. The British taxpayer is investing money in development in Zambia, it would be a very serious matter if some of that money was misappropriated.” He said.

Cochrane-Dyet said there was a corruption problem in Zambia.

He said he was excited to learn that President Edgar Lungu had asked law enforcement agencies to up their game.

“I have been very delighted to hear about the decision by the President to instruct law enforcement agencies to up their game, and this is something we should all be concerned about because money that is stolen is money that cannot be spent on education and health.”

” And investors, they need confidence to invest in Zambia and there is a corruption problem in this country and it is quite serious..and the information which the minister has shared with me just now is very reassuring and is very welcome,” High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet said.

He said it was unfortunate that the Zambian Watchdog had misconstrued his tweets to cause a row.

He accused the online newspaper of driving a wedge between Zambia and the United Kingdom.

“Over the last few days, what we have seen is an audacious attempt to drive a wedge between Britain and Zambia. I have been reluctant previously to mention Zambian Watchdog by name because by doing so, I didn’t want to give them any credence but I think we know that that particular organ, the way it operates is to create a distorted story in a hope that it will cause a row.”

“So reports about my tweets and my meeting at FIC have been distorted very much. And in particular, I think it’s the way in which my reference to the Honorable Minister of Information was manipulated by changing punctuation to suggest that she is a minister of misinformation when actually, the misinformation was about Zambian Watchdog.

” The Honorable Minister and I have talked about the Financial Intelligence Center and we have talked about government’s efforts to tackle corruption.

“I have been very delighted to hear about the decision by the President to instruct law enforcement agencies to up their game, and this is something we should all be concerned about because money that is stolen is money that cannot be spent on education and health.”

” It is very important that law enforcement agencies work effectively and people are prosecuted. And I know that government is on the case, that is very good to hear,”

High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet said, reiterating that Zambia’s relationship with his country was still intact.”

Share this post