THE Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) should not limit its investigations to the draft and final audit report on the misapplication of over K34 million donor funds by the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) officials but broaden their scope of work to establish the truth about the scam, National Revolution Party (NRP) president Cosmo Mumba has charged.
And Dr. Mumba has asked senior officials at ZNFU being probed for financial irregularities to step aside and allow the DEC officers to carry out their investigations independently until the case comes to a conclusion when their fate would be determined.
Speaking in the wake of latest information that donors have handed over to DEC, a final report of the audit report which is said to be similar to the draft report which ZNFU initially rubbished Dr. Mumba asked the commission not to limit its investigations to the two documents as there could be more to the allegations than what was contained in the documents.
He said as much as the two documents created the primary basis of the investigation, there was need for DEC officers not to restrict themselves but explore other avenues which would provide extensive information over what they were pursuing.
Dr Mumba called upon the DEC officers handling the matter to be impartial and deal firmly with the issue until the truth came out so that the alleged ZNFU officers were either vindicated about claims in the audit report or were found wanting.
“We welcome the move by the donors to provide more information to the officers investigating this matter as that would provide additional information to what they already have and enhance the credibility of the outcome of the probe but our message is that they should not restrict themselves to the two documents but pursue other channels.
“Zambians are following this issue keenly and they are expecting nothing but a credible, conclusive and impartial undertaking that will produce nothing but a true reflection of what transpired at ZNFU. Of course we are not saying that the ZNFU officers are guilty because they have not yet been found with a case to answer over what happened but we want fairness to take place where if these officers are innocent, they are not reprimanded or freed when it is true they have misapplied public funds,” Dr. Mumba said.
And Dr. Mumba has asked the officers under probe to immediately vacate their offices until the investigations were concluded. He said it was only prudent that the officers excused themselves on moral grounds so that they were not seen to interfere with the investigations.