13 December 2012

Zambia: Laz Accusations Fake - State House

STATE House has said it is standard procedure for the Anti-Corruption Commission and other State wings to notify the Head of State if any senior Government official is under probe.

State House Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, George Chellah said Law Association of Zambia (LAZ)'s accusations that the Executive was weakening governance systems were unwarranted and misdirected.

He was reacting to LAZ president James Banda's statement on Tuesday in which he accused the Government of abuse of power.

Mr Chellah observed that if President Michael Sata was not informed of any investigations against senior Government officials, it would be difficult to censure them.

"Mr Banda should be reminded that it is a procedural and acceptable norm for the ACC or any investigative agency of Government to notify the President if any senior Government official is under probe.

"If the President is not informed about the alleged misconduct of his senior officers, how is he supposed to censure them as a supervising authority in the event that they are found wanting but not criminally culpable?"

Mr Chellah said this in a statement in Lusaka yesterday.

On issues of governance, Mr Chellah said the Government had exhibited far-reaching magnanimity and fairness which in some instances was viewed as a weakness by people who had publicly declared to make the country ungovernable.

He said State House had noted with grave concern the exaggerated statement from the LAZ president on governance expressed during a media briefing on Tuesday.

"Clearly, in the course of his unjustifiable censure of the Executive arm of Government, Mr Banda has chosen to deliberately ignore the fundamental realities and principles of governance even on matters that are presently before the courts of law such as the recent deportations.

"As an officer of the court himself, we expect Mr Banda to be wary of this contemptuous approach to these matters. Therefore, we resist the temptation of being drawn into discussing cases that are before our respectable courts of law," Mr Chellah said.

He said the Government was committed to the rule of law and order, and that the Constitution clearly spelt out the values of the country's growing democracy.

He added that the Government was committed, through the Office of the Attorney General and Solicitor General, to maintain a sound work relationship with LAZ.

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