9 October 2012

Zambia: Prove Your Claims - Wynter...and I Will Quit

JUSTICE Minister Wynter Kabimba says he is ready to quit as Minister if the anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) finds concrete evidence to prove that he influenced the awarding of the oil procurement tender to Trafigura.

Mr Kabimba who is Patriotic Front(PF) Secretary- General said he would not hesitate to quit his position as Minister of Justice should the ACC establish traits of corruption in their preliminary inquiries on allegations that his company received kick backs in the process leading to the awarding of the oil deal to Trafigura.

Mr Kabimba told journalist in Lusaka yesterday that he was happy that the preliminary inquiries by the ACC were based on media reports saying the commission has not yet written to him regarding the matter and that he was ready to cooperate once approached.

He stressed that it would be wrong to expect him to quit on mere media allegations, whose veracity and genuineness had not been established, as this might set a precedent where some unscrupulous people might take advantage and start raising groundless claims for the purpose of forcing innocent leaders out of their positions.

The minister said he had accepted to serve in Government for the sole purpose of helping the country and its people to strengthen good governance, and promote equitable justice, democracy and development for all Zambians, and was not about to depart from these ideals.

"I am glad that the ACC has stated that the allegations are based on Press statements. I can assure you that as soon as I receive those allegations from the ACC, not through the Press, I will not hesitate to call it quits," he said.

He urged the ACC to pursue their investigations vigorously and expeditiously and tell the Zambians the truth about the wrong doings he had allegedly committed.

"I want to assure the nation that as soon as the allegations are proven to me and they go beyond what is in the Press, I owe the people of Zambia to act exemplary and step down as Minister of Justice," he said.

The Minister said he would not be influenced by media reports to quit his position to pave way for investigations.

And Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) and Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) have welcomed the move by the ACC to probe Mr Kabimba and Mr Mwamba.

FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi said the move by the ACC to probe senior

Government officials was a clear indication of President Mr Sata's stance that he would not insulate or protect anyone in the fight against corruption.

And TIZ president Rueben Lifuka said this was a litmus test for the PF leadership and now was the time to demonstrate the seriousness that President Sata and his ministers attached to fighting corruption.

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