5 December 2012

Zambia: I Didn't Mobilise Cadres, Says Kabimba

JUSTICE Minister Wynter Kabimba says he did not mobilise Patriotic Front (PF) youths to accompany him to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) offices in Lusaka where he was scheduled to be interviewed on Monday.

Mr Kabimba, who is Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary General, however said unlike what was suggested by the Commission, the youth were peaceful.

He said in his letter addressed to ACC acting director general Irene Lamba that the youth arrived at the ACC offices after they heard about his summoning on some radio stations.

Mr Kabimba said the youth were peaceful and posed no security threat, although the Commission concluded that the environment was not conducive for them to conduct an interview.

"I refer to the above matter and your summons that I appear before the commission investigation officers on Monday, 3rd December, 2012 at 15:30 hours. I reported to the commission offices on the appointed date at 15:25 hours.

"On arrival, I found some PF youths who had heard on some radio stations during the day that I had been summoned to submit myself before the ACC at 15:30 hours. These youths were peaceful and posed no security threat at all," reads part of the letter.

He said ACC had made a public statement on October 5 this year that it was conducting preliminary investigations into alleged corruption on his part in respect of the Transfigura oil tender supply.

He said the comments and innuendos on the matter could erode public confidence in his office.

"In order to show you the gravity of the matter, the new German Ambassador to Zambia raised the issue when he paid a courtesy call on Wednesday 21st November, 2012.

"This is the level of public interest and anxiety which the matter has generated even in the diplomatic community. It is, therefore, no longer a confidential matter as you allege," Mr Kabimba said.

Meanwhile, the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has called on President Michael Sata to send Mr Kabimba and Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba on leave until investigations into their alleged corrupt activities had been completed.

LAZ president James Banda described Mr Kabimba's conduct at the ACC offices on Monday as a mockery to the justice system of Zambia.

Mr Banda said in a statement yesterday that Mr Kabimba, being at the helm of the justice system, should be the "last person to display the kind of broadcast in the Press such as the one he displayed on Monday."

"We doubt if the ACC would have allowed that kind of behaviour had it been from an ordinary member of the public," he said.

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