24 August 2010

Zambia: Govt Has Never Interfered With Changwe's Case

PREESIDENT Rupiah Banda has said the Government has never interfered with the police in the on-going investigations into Gender Deputy Minister Lucy Changwe's alleged issuance of a cheque on an insufficiently-funded account.

Mr Banda said the police operated independently and that he had not spoken to them on the matter.

He accused his critics of politicking through allegations that he was interfering with the operations of security institutions.

The president said this at City Airport in Lusaka before departure for Southern Province yesterday.

Mr Banda cautioned Zambians that opposition leaders making such accusations were merely showing that they could abuse their powers if they assumed the presidency.

He said the ease with which the opposition leaders were insinuating that the Government was controlling the police was a clear indication that they would abuse and control security institutions if elected into office.

He also said Vice-President George Kunda was a victim of unrestrained attacks from some private media houses and opposition leaders.

Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata, his secretary general Wynter Kabimba and United Party for National Development president Hakainde Hichilema have claimed that President Banda was stopping the police from arresting Ms Changwe.

"People will prove this as we go along that this is the right Government. We cannot interfere with the operations of the police," Mr Banda said.

Mr Banda said he had never spoken to the police on the alleged K10 million bounced cheque issued to a Mkushi businessperson in a property purchase transaction.

He said the police, Drug Enforcement Commission, Zambia Army, judiciary and other security and governance institutions should not be controlled by the Government.

"For them to say that so easily it just shows what type of opposition leaders we have. I wonder how much they would control the police if they came to power," Mr Banda said.

On the conduct of Kafulafuta Member of Parliament George Mpombo and his Chilanga counterpart Ng'andu Magande, Mr Banda said the national executive committee would meet soon to make a decision.

Meanwhile, President Banda has said some civil society organisations intending to petition parliament over the national constitutional conference were at liberty to do so because it was their right.

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