It is totally unfair and unjust that former finance minister Katele Kalumba and his co accused were sent to prison on Zambia Intelligence matters when the director general who directed operations was not even brought to testify in the trial, civil rights activist Brebner Changala has said.
Mr Changala said that the mastermind of the so called plunder of Zamtrop account and resources Mr Xavier Chungu was free and roaming the streets of Lusaka while the persons that carried out the instructions were now behind bars.
Mr. Changala charged that the President Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata who was incarcerated for theft of motor vehicle by the Mwanawasa regime was released and acquitted after Xavier Chungu testified that he was a friend of the Intelligence Service.
The same, he said was true of Katele who was also found with a BMW vehicle from the Service.
“How then could the Katele group be convicted without evidence from Mr. Chungu who was giving the orders?” Mr Changala asked.
He said that for a crime of corruption or abuse of office to happen there would always be two people involved and that this was one case that clearly showed that there was something wrong with the manner the case had been handled.
“I am not here to defend Katele Kalumba and his crew that has been convicted by the High Court but my greatest concern is that there seems to be a lot of injustice and unfair play in this one matter.
“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand and evaluate the very fact that Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu were never civil servants or commissioned government agents and the funds that have landed them in jail were remitted to them by an authorised government agent or official, who should have given evidence.
“From my understanding they were merely managing these funds on behalf of the Office of the President (OP) on full instruction from the director general Xavier Chungu. These kind of financial activities by the intelligence were in similar manner conducted at ZANACO, First Alliance Bank and other financial institutions,” Changala said. He wondered why no directors of other institutions were ever queried and let alone prosecuted while the biggest fish Mr Chungu, the initiator and mastermind of the movement of the intelligence fund was not part of the convicted group.
“This question must be answered by the government and Mr Chungu himself or else this would be the worst injustice to be done against innocent businessmen of a private institution,” he said.
Mr Changala has further warned that the same crisis would catch up with the current leadership because of not listening to what the people were telling them. He warned Mr Sata to stop issuing statements which were inaccurate and also being economical with the truth. Mr Changala said this in relation to the statement by Mr Sata that currently the country’s foreign reserves were at $ 2.4billion when the former government let $ 2.6 billion and that the President did not tell the nation who had pocketed the difference.
He said “A precedent is being set that you cannot run government in secrecy and misinformation. Everything has to be accounted for through transparency and accountability.
“The Katele Kalumba saga is a very good lesson for our leaders especially Mr Michael Sata and Dr Kaseba because time will catch up with them and they will be made to account for everything that might not belong to the family”.