By Mike Sichula – The Speech Analyst
The Patriotic Front must stop acting like a Party that is in the opposition by castigating institutions that are a creation of the National Assembly, a house of representatives for the Zambian PEOPLE.
Our Comment comes in the wake of continued attacks on the Financial Intelligence Centre following the release of the Trends report for the year 2017.
We are wondering as to what has become of ANTONIO MWANZA, the Deputy Media Director for the Patriotic Front, who at a PF media Interactive Forum, loudly said that the Financial Intelligence Centre-(FIC) must be disbanded and have Current Director General, Mrs. Mary TSHUMA, be reported to investigative Wings, over what he termed as Abuse of Office.
Antonio Mwanza is PF Deputy Media Chairperson
This demonstrates that Mr. MWANZA, still has some aggressiveness of being in the opposition, he is not even a year older in the ruling party, he misses the other side where you oppose even good things done by those with Authority.
This is taking centre stage in the midst of silence from the appointing Authority to defend Mr. TSHUMA, and her Team, we are convinced that the questioning of the operations of the Centre is a scheme to have Mrs. TSHUMA, set down and replace her with a user friendly individual.
We have an example of Mrs. Roswin WANDA, the Former Anti-Corruption Commission Director General, who resigned, without giving reasons, which is her right anywhere. She however, accepted to serve as one of Commissioners of the Civil Service Commission, we had expected her to leave Public service.
Her resignation was due to Political pressure besides what we do not know.
Therefore, individuals aggrieved are applying a complicated campaign to force Mrs. TSHUMA, out from her role because any attempt to dismiss her by powers that be will tell the nation, that the PF are enemies of a crusade on corruption.
The New Director General at the ACC, Kapetwa PHIRI,rarely speaks to the media.
If and when there will be New Leadership at the Financial Intelligence Centre, that will entail reduced vibrance by the money laundering watchdog to strictly tackle illicit Financial transactions in Zambia, it will be a “don’t bite the finger that feeds you” approach.
We are religiously waiting on President EDGAR Lungu, to publicly speak against his Senior Cabinet Ministers including party officials.
We doubt if he will come to the aid of Mrs. TSHUMA, because he is the Man, encouraging his Cabinet Ministers not to pay back allowances and salaries earned when they stayed in Office even when the National Assembly was dissolved ahead of the 2016 General elections.
Zambia’s financial intelligence Unit was created by the Financial Intelligence Centre Act No. 46 of 2010 and was amended by the Act No. 4 of 2016 becoming operational in November, 2013.
Since then The Financial Intelligence Centre has released annual Trends Reports through publishing the report on their website.
This year, it was the first time that the FIC has conducted a “public’ release of its report when it held a news conference last month.
One of the main purposes of financial intelligence is to identify financial transactions that may involve tax evasion, money laundering or some other criminal activity.
Having provided that information, it is now clear that efforts to fight corruption by the PF are nowhere near what the public has been fed with because this attack by both the government and the party in government demonstrates that all is not well in terms of preventing abuse of national resources.
In fact, we are convinced that actually there is a group of politically exposed persons who are hitting at President LUNGU, by sponsoring persons including Lawyers to rubbish what a government institute like the (FIC) has made known to the Zambian PEOPLE.
This is the reasons the Zambian Media has over a decade cried unsuccessfully for the enactment of the access to information bill so that such information as the TRENDS REPORT 2017 be availed to the public to know how their resources end up in few people’s pockets.
Sadly The Civil Society movement is divided on this matter, pro-PF Civil Society organizations are busy influencing the party in power to condenm the FIC while other NGOs are excited with operations of the Intelligence Centre.
What the intelligence Centre has done is within the Law as far as our Team can relate to in terms of references given to the FIC Board. With what is happening, we are on firm Ground that there is alot of hypocrsy by those attacking the Centre, more especially that the same organizations have gone on anti hills when commenting on the Auditor Generals Report.
There is a thin difference between what the Auditor Generals Report publish with what the Intelligence Centre has done…Come On Zambians.
We salute a Consortium of Civil Society movement that have come to the defence of Mrs.TSHUMA, and the FIC Staff. Let them go further and conduct a “solidarity match” in support to Mrs. TSHUMA, a Woman under pressure.