By BENNIE MUNDANDO
FORMER President Frederick Chiluba was persecuted on account of raw intelligence information of corruption which was later totally disproved and never came to court, Edward Mumbi has said.
Mr. Mumbi said it was dangerous to make generalised accusations such as the ones Levy Mwanawasa used in parliament to lift the immunity of his predecessors, yet none of the cases presented in the National Assembly were ever prosecuted in the courts of law.
He cited the arms deal, the disappearance of oil tankers, among others, as cases which were abandoned upon more rigorous investigations and urged President Edgar Lungu not to bow to pressure from disgruntled individuals beckoning him to act on the raw Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC).
He said Mr. Mwanawasa made the mistake of “listening to every barking dog” and ended up engineering the removal of the immunity of his predecessor, yet without any evidence triable in any court of law.
“We have gone through this before. You remember that there was a report given to Mr. Mwanawasa which suggested that Dr. Chiluba had embezzled US$25million linked to arms. Without investigating the matter, Mr. Mwanawasa took it to Parliament and that saw Dr. Chiluba’s immunity being removed.
“His immunity was removed unconstitutionally because he was never charged in any court of law with anything relating to that money.
The DEC chief is very right. The FIC should not have talked about that report until investigations were concluded. The president cannot react on suspicion.
How can you arrest someone on speculation?” he asked.
He said the FIC and its cheerleaders must desist from making unwarranted statements over its inefficiencies by attempting to bring into ridicule, President Lungu’s concerns over its report.
He maintained that the FIC report, in its current form, was speculative with no basis to punish or drag someone to court.
“The rule of law does not operate on speculation of suspicion.
The FIC board is as misguided as Mr. Hichilema who is claiming that the President should have reacted to its report because the President, who is a lawyer cannot act on such a speculative document. If he did, it would be unconstitutional and the same people would attacked him,” he said.