21 December 2012

Zambia: Kabimba Speaks Out On Graft Probe

PATRIOTIC Front (PF) Secretary General Wynter Kabimba says a foreign oil company is behind the 'fictitious' evidence provided to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) against him.

Mr Kabimba, who is Justice Minister, said the oil firm lost the tender to supply petroleum to Zambia despite luring him with bribes and in bitterness started fabricating stories of corruption against him to the ACC.

He said this on Wednesday night when he featured on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation's 'National Watch' programme.

"Let me talk about these so-called allegations. These are coming from a foreign company that failed to bribe me. This is the origin.

"If I am to tell the people of Zambia today, this company attempted to bribe me so that they could be given the tender but after I refused to take their bribe, they lost the tender and went ahead to write a fictitious story. So, it shows you that I didn't deal with Trafigura," he said.

Mr Kabimba, however, said ACC was still free to probe the matter and verify his report.

He said he did not want to provide the information to the ACC and hoped the commission would gather more information surrounding the case.

Mr Kabimba was recently summoned to appear at the ACC for questioning but refused to be interviewed privately, insisting that the matter was already in the public domain.

On Foreign Affairs Minister Given Lubinda's pending disciplinary hearing, Mr Kabimba said the minister, who is Kabwata Member of Parliament (MP), had responded.

He, however, could not disclose the contents of the reply but that a disciplinary committee of the central committee would deal with the matter.

"He (Mr Lubinda) has responded to charges in the letter but this process is an internal one and the next stage is that we will have to establish a disciplinary committee of the central committee to look at the issue.

"The issue will be determined by a totally independent organ of the party to hear the matter along with other matters involving colleagues who have been suspended from the Eastern Province," Mr Kabimba said.

On cadres who delivered a petition calling on Mr Lubinda to step down, Mr Kabimba said the primary organ involved in presenting the petition was merely expressing its grievances.

On enforcement of the Public Order Act being condemned by opposition parties, Mr Kabimba said the police were enforcing the law well.

He said when PF was an opposition party, it also complained about the enforcement of the Act, but the party was following the rules.

Mr Kabimba said the Government also wanted to strengthen the Office of the Auditor General.

The Auditor General's office, he said, would also audit the K1.5 billion allocated to the Office of the First Lady to promote transparency unlike was the case during the MMD tenure.

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