Daily News Brief on ICGLR Member States compiled by LMRC ( 10th June 2019)

1.       ANGOLA

a)      Angola Press Agency: Angola and UNHCR analyse co-operation programmes

Luanda - The secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Téte António, received in an audience last Friday the regional director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Valentin Tapsoba.

During the meeting, the two officials analysed matters relating to the strengthening of the relations between Angola and the UNHCR, as well as the implementation of new co-operation programmes.

Still on Friday, Téte António held a courtesy meeting with the new Chinese ambassador to Angola, Gang Tao.

b)      Angola Press Agency: IOM supports Angola in assistance to vulnerable migrants

Caxito - The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said Thursday it was available to support Angola to outline mechanisms for assisting vulnerable migrants.

IOM’s regional director said this Thursday in Caxito, northern Bengo province.

Charles Kwenin made the pledge during a training of trainers workshop on migration flows and trafficking in human beings.

Charles Kwenin said that his organisation acknowledges that irregular mixed migratory movements pose challenge to the sovereignty of states.

Therefore, he spoke of responsibility to protect migrants and refugees, under the international treaties and laws of human rights.

By adopting the global compact on migration in December 2018 in Marrakesh, Morocco, Angola proved to be aware of this need, said the IOM official.

c)       Angola Press Agency: João Lourenço Receives President Nguesso's Envoy

Luanda — The Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço, last Thursday received in an audience, in Luanda, the special envoy of his Congolese counterpart, Dennis Sassou Nguesso, with whom he analysed matters of common interest

In the end of the audience, the Foreign Affairs minister of the Republic of Congo, Jean-Claude Gakosso, did not speak to the press.

Angola and the Republic of Congo have had regular concert meetings, be it in the ambit of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) or the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), whose chair is currently being held by President Dennis Sassou Nguesso.

2.       BURUNDI

a)      Regional week: ‘Burundi peace improves before 2020 elections’, one report says.

The report indicates that Burundi has risen five places in rankings to position 134 in the 2018 Global pace Index(GPI), which measures nations’ and regions’ peacefulness.

In 2017, Burundi recorded the second most significant deterioration in the state of peace.

“The deterioration was largely driven by the political crisis triggered by the controversial re-election of the incumbent president, Pierre Nkurunziza in July 2015”, reads a report from Vision of Humanity, an international organization that carries out research on global peace and development.

According to the report, Burundi recorded improvements in militarization, safety and security, and a decrease in the conflict domain.

“Regional organizations are now willing to hold conferences in Burundi whereas they had considered previously considered it too unsafe to travel there”, the report says.

According to Vision of Humanity, Burundi managed to restore relative security by clamping down on the opposition and curtailing civil liberties.

However, despite the improvement in the Global Peace Index, the country saw an increase in the number of refugees and internationally displaced people as a percentage of the population, from 3.9 percent to 4.7 percent.

Burundi remains one of the 10 least peaceful countries in Sub-saharan Africa with 2018 being the first time since 2014 that the country improved in the Global Peace Index.

3.       CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

a)      AU Wire: Russia to send military to the Central African Republic by end of June

During a St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and  Special Presidential Representative on the Middle East Mikhail Bogdanov told journalists that the Russian military will be sent to the Central African Republic (CAR) by the end of July to participate in the UN mission, reports TASS news agency.

According to Bogdanov, 30 Russian peacekeepers will be sent to the CAR. "I think [this will happen] soon. However, I am not sure if this will happen by the end of this or next month," said the Deputy Minister.

On April 15, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin signed an order to send the Russian military group to the Central African Republic. According to the document, the deployment of peacekeepers in Central Africa will be financed by the UN. Withdrawal of the military from the Central African Republic will take place if their assistance "is not required because of changes in the international military-political situation."

On May 23, it became known that Russia will provide a batch of weapons to the CAR free of charge. RBC  news agency reported, citing the second secretary of the Russian embassy in the CAR Viktor Tokmakov, that it should include firearms and ammunition.

In March last year, five Russian military and 170 civilian instructors were sent to the country to train the local army and to ensure the supply of weapons to the local government. At the same time, the Russian Foreign Ministry did not rule out the possibility of an increase in the number of Russian military specialists in the CAR. In October 2018, it became known that 60 additional military instructors will be sent to the CAR.

Last year several foreign media, including the French newspaper Le Monde, reported that employees of Russian private military structures, including the Russian Private Military Company Wagner, are present in the Central African Republic.

A military correspondent Orkhan Jemal together with the film crew (Kirill Radchenko and Alexander Rastorguev) went to the CAR to investigate this information in the summer of 2018. They were killed a few days after arriving in the country by unknown persons. The deaths of journalists are being investigated both in the Central African Republic and in Russia.

4.       KENYA

a)      Standard Media: Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto criticised over Sh7 billion irrigation project

Ugunja MP James Opiyo Wandayi has criticised Deputy President William Ruto for commissioning Lower Nzoia Irrigation project without consulting Siaya County MPs.

The project cuts across, Ugenya, Ugunja and Alego Usonga sub-counties in Siaya County and Budalangi in Busia county.

Wandayi who was speaking in Ugenya constituency during a fundraiser raised concerns that the project is going to displace several residents of those three sub-counties who are yet to be compensated.

He claimed that the leaders of Siaya County were not consulted yet they are the representatives of residents who may be affected. 

The Sh5.3 billion irrigation projects at the Lower Nzoia Scheme was set to kick off in October 2018.

The project funded by the World Bank is to be implemented in two phases and will involve the construction of dykes.

The first phase of the irrigation project will be done on 10,000 acres of land and the irrigation component of the project will cost Sh3.8 billion while the rehabilitation of dykes will cost Sh1.4 billion.

The project was set to be a fully-fledged agribusiness venture with production and value addition

50 percent of the land at the Lower Nzoia was to be used for rice production, vegetables, fruits, and spices. 

The irrigation project which was conceptualized in 2008 has delayed for several years due to issues of land compensation and rehabilitation of dykes which was roped in late.

"We will not accept this because it will displace a lot of our people. As we speak, a majority of them are yet to be compensated. Together with my counterparts, MPs David Ochieng and Sam Atandi, we will hold consultative meetings to seek a way forward, “said Wandayi.

The MP asked the National government through the National Irrigation Board (NIB) to compensate the people whose parcels of land will be affected by the Lower Nzoia Irrigation scheme.

On Friday last week, the Deputy President toured Western Kenya where he launched the Sh7 billion lower Nzoia irrigation project.

Dr. Ruto said the current acreage of 2,000 under the project would be increased to 10,000 with a view of producing enough food to serve the entire region.

According to the National Irrigation Board, some preliminary works are already ongoing.

b)      The Star: MPs demand EACC probes state officers with dual citizenship

MPs want the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate state officers suspected of being dual citizens.

They claim a number of state officers, some approved by Parliament, are citizens of other countries contrary to the law. 

The matter arose during a debate on whether Mwende Mwinzi should be posted as Kenya’s ambassador to Seoul, Korea, yet she holds a US citizenship.

Katoo Ole Metito, chairman of Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, made the call amid claims a number of Principal Secretaries, Cabinet Secretaries, Governors, and MPs hold dual citizenship.

Eyes are now cast on how Parliament would treat the nominee for Kuwait – the former Nominated Senator Halima Abdille having earlier rejected her nomination as PSC representative to the SRC.

The former lawmaker was nominated alongside those tipped for Dakar, Rome, Berlin, Bern, and Accra, who will be vetted next week.

Parliament is yet to crack the puzzle of the law stipulating that an applicant with dual citizenship is required to renounce his/her citizenship before their appointment.

Mahamud Sirat – also an Australian, and Miguna Miguna – also Canadian, are among Kenyans whose citizenship have been upheld by the court after their status was challenged.

Metito, citing cases in US, UK, and Israel, demystified the perception that it is difficult for people to renounce citizenship if it is by birth.

“It is a criminal offence if one does not declare their citizenship status. I want to call upon the investigative agencies including the NIS to find out the truth behind the claims with a view to prosecuting such persons,” the Kajiado South MP said.

He recommended a review of past envoy postings so that should there be any officers with dual citizenship, they be recalled and charged for hiding crucial information. 

“This is the first issue of dual citizenship that has come before this House. We may not want to set a bad precedence.  For an ambassador role, being a representative of the Head of State, the country cannot gamble to have one who holds dual citizenship.”

MP Cecily Mbarire (Nominated) accused the Foreign Relations Committee of approving appointments for dual citizenship holders; Metito sought proof of claims.

Mbarire said Mwinzi had served a previous government and has run for MP as well as a charity in the country.

Murang’a woman representative Sabina Chege proposed an amendment to the law requiring the nominee to renounce her citizenship before she gets the Seoul job.

“We might need to relook at the law. Let us not apply the law selectively,” the MP said.

Majority leader Aden Duale supported the call for a probe into dual citizenship holders saying the law is clear on what a nominee in that category should do.

“If there is an MP who has violated this provision, it is not our interest to defend them,” the Garissa Township MP said.

Minority leader John Mbadi said the fundamental question to be answered is whether it is in the interest of the country to have such an ambassador.

“We have been condemned for approving nominees with questionable citizenship in this House. Assuming that the interest of the American government and that of Kenya conflict in Korea, whose interest will she promote?” Mbadi asked.

In his ruling on the matter, Speaker Justin Muturi reported having received numerous entreaties including attempts to lobby him about the Seoul envoy question.

He held that having looked at provisions of Article 78, 80 (c) and 260 of the Constitution, the candidate has no option but to renounce her US citizenship if she is to get the envoy job.

“Parliament enacted the Leadership and Integrity Act which implements Chapter Six of the Constitution. The House considered that Article 260 did not define a definition of ambassadors, high commissioners, and consulars,” Muturi said.

He cited Section 52 of the Leadership Act which provides that a public officer will for purposes of Chapter Six be deemed to be a state officer.

The law further provides that if a dual citizen is elected into a state office, they must renounce the second citizenship.

“Parliament interpreted Article 78 correctly, is not against a dual citizenship by a state officer and it does not all apply until a person is elected or appointed to the state office,” Muturi said.

However, a dual citizen is disqualified upon election or appointment from holding office without voluntarily renouncing the second citizenship, he added.

“The law is the law. The Court of Appeal has not said that holders of dual citizenship should not be appointed but if so, they must renounce before taking office,” Muturi said.

c)       The Star: Tanzania and Uganda freeze exchange of Kenyan bank notes

The Bank of Tanzania has frozen exchange of Kenyan bank notes with immediate effect.

Through a letter addressed to all financial institutions on Friday, the Tanzanian bank regulator said the Central Bank of Kenya had informed it of assurance of new series of banknotes starting May 31.

With a view to combat illicit financial flows and counterfeits into the Republic of Kenya, the Bank of Tanzania has been advised to freeze CBK Currency Collection Account with immediate effect,’’ the memo read.

This means, anyone with old Kenyan notes in the two countries will have to carry them to Kenya to replace them for new ones subject to CBK's guidelines.  

The announcement is a blow to perpetrators of illicit financial flows who have sneaked huge amount of Kenyan currency into  the  neighbouring nations, hoping to launder it into local currencies. 

It is also a big blow to Kenyan  traders seeking  to exchange money to trade in Tanzania and Uganda. 

Kenya unveiled new bank notes to the public on June 1 and announced plans to phase out old generation Sh1000 notes by October 1.

Speaking to journalists on June 3, CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said he will be reaching other regulators in the region to ensure a smooth transition from old to new bank notes.

‘’We are going to work closely with every stakeholder in the financial sector including our sister Central Banks in the region to ensure a smooth transaction and fight against illicit financial flows,’’ Njoroge said.

d)      The Star: MPs call for parliamentary system

ODM MPs have hinted at plans to push for a parliamentary system as a referendum question.

The leaders said a referendum to change the Constitution is unstoppable.

MPs Tom Kajwang' (Ruaraka), Aduma Owuor (Nyakach), Walter Owino (Awendo), Tom Odege (Nyatike) and Onyango K’Oyoo (Muhoroni) spoke yesterday at Nyabondo's St Joseph's Catholic Church in Nyakach, Kisumu.

Martin Owino (Ndhiwa), Charles Ong'ondo Were (Kasipul Kabondo) and Kisumu Woman Representative Rozaah Buyu were also present.

The lawmakers said they want to change the system of governance at the national level and not to reduce the number of counties.

"Our focus will be to change the presidential system to a parliamentary system. This is key for the unity of the country. It will ensure inclusivity," Kajwang' said.

Under the parliamentary system, Kajwang' said MPs are allowed to be appointed as Cabinet secretaries unlike the presidential system. He said the push for referendum is not aimed at total overhaul of the whole Constitution.

"We only want to change  governance structure at the national level not the counties," Kajwang said. 

Koyoo and Owino echoed Kajwang's proposal, saying it was the best for the country. They called on Nyanza residents  to continue supporting the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

5.       RWANDA

a)      The New Times: Rwanda, DRC First Ladies jointly commit to improve citizens welfare

First Lady Jeannette Kagame and her DR Congo counterpart, Denise Nyakeru Tshisekedi, have pledged to work together through their organisations, to improve their people’s welfare.

The First Ladies made the vow on Sunday evening during an official dinner hosted by Mrs Kagame  in Kigali. Also in attendance, were top government officials from both countries.

Mrs Tshisekedi is in the country since early Sunday, where she was welcomed at the border in Rubavu District by the Chief Gender Monitor Rose Rwabuhihi among other officials. Mrs Tshisekedi is on a two-day official visit at the invitation of First Lady Jeannette Kagame.

Mrs Kagame is the Chairperson of Imbuto Foundation, a non-profit organization  whose mission is to support the development of a healthy, educated and prosperous society.

Mrs Tshisekedi has also founded “Plus Fortes”, a foundation whose vision is to ensure a society where every woman is free, strong and valuable.

It also seeks to ensure the development of the people of Congo, especially women, through being innovative, professional with ethics as well as persevering in whatever they do.

Speaking at the dinner, Mrs Kagame welcomed her counterpart and her delegation, wishing them a joyous stay, in the hopes that they will come back to Rwanda in the future.

She said that Rwanda and DR Congo enjoy a long history and strong relationship despite challenges, and that there is a need to strengthen this relationship, now and in the future, for the benefit of the people of both countries.

“On the issue that concerns us more directly, I would like to salute your movement ‘Plus Fortes’, which echoes everything we promote at Imbuto Foundation, founded 18 years ago,” she said.

Imbuto Foundation has been dealing with issues such as promoting social protection programmes, maternal health and fighting early pregnancies, fighting gender based violence and school dropout rates among others.

“All these are major issues we have been trying to address over the years and our doors will always remain open for exchange of ideas and experience for our mutual initiatives in the mentioned areas,” she told Mrs Tshisekedi.

Mrs Tshisekedi hailed Imbuto Foundation for what it has achieved so far in areas of health promotion, fighting HIV & AIDS as well as supporting the vulnerable especially orphans and widows; initiatives that Africa needs enormously, and that are worth emulating.

“I am very impressed by your history; my vision through my foundation is based on issues including education, health and the fight against gender violence. I hope that in the future, our foundations can collaborate with to implement these projects,” she said.

“For us to keep valuing the woman and families in Africa we need to work together. Together as women we are strong, very strong,” she added.

Prior to dinner, both First Ladies watched  a play called “We call it love” - the story of a woman and her son’s murder.

The play highlights the 100 days of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the silence of perpetrators and the reconstruction of a nation. It also questions the concept of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Mrs Tshisekedi is today expected to visit Isange One Stop Centre at Kacyiru District Hospital, which takes care of victims of gender-based violence.

6.       SOUTH SUDAN

a)      The New Times: UN introduce Umuganda in South Sudan

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has launched Umuganda, a communal work to clean the capital Juba and internally displaced camps.

The replica of Rwanda’s monthly traditional exercise by the blue berets in South Sudan, according to UNMISS leadership, is meant to “make mission camps and surroundings of Juba and IDP camps cleaner, greener, healthier and more environmentally efficient.”

During the launch of the communal exercise on Saturday, UNMISS leadership, all Police, military and civilian peacekeepers from various UN contributing nations, cleaned the city and other towns of plastic bags and littered bottles, and planted trees.

The launch of the monthly exercise was presided over by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) to UNMISS, David Shearer.

Rwanda maintains three Formed Police Unit (FPU) contingents of combined 560 peacekeepers and three military contingents.

Two FPU contingents of 160 each, are deployed in Juba while a hybrid contingent of 240 officers is deployed in Malakal of Upper Nile State, about 650 kms from the capital Juba.

The exercise, which was also in line with the World Environmental Day, marked the launch of the “Environmental Sustainability Policy Statement” and “Umuganda Cleanliness Campaign”, which “will be conducted every month.”

Rwandan peacekeepers across all missions where they are deployed have been conducting Umuganda.

Umuganda is a practice that takes root from Rwandan culture of self-reliance and cooperation.

Members of the community come together every last Suday of the month to help each other complete a difficult task and to supplement national development programmes in their localities.

These include creating and rehabilitating roads, water channels, building shelter for the disadvantaged families, planting trees and fighting soil erosion, among others.

The communal exercise is concluded with a community meeting where locals discuss pressing security and development issues and come up with solution to challenges faced in their respective localities.

b)      Radio Tamazuj: South Sudan to deploy police to border with Sudan

South Sudan is set to deploy police forces to the disputed border with Sudan to replace the army as efforts to push for border demarcation.

Both countries have yet to demarcate the common border. The two Sudans are also at odds over Abyei area.

South Sudan’s information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth said the cabinet instructed the interior minister to deploy the police in the areas currently occupied by the army along the border with Sudan.

“This is what they call the borderline, the presumed border line between Sudan and South Sudan, which is supposed to be the temporary line for the establishment of the crossing points and the corridor,” Makuei said after a cabinet meeting held in Juba on Friday.

He added, “The presence of the police forces in the demilitarized border zones will provide protection to the civilian population”.

Makuei pointed out that the joint border commission will continue negotiating with Khartoum on the disputed border areas.

“Our forces have pulled out from some of the areas and some of the forces have not yet pulled out and so it was decided that the forces pull out of the safe demilitarized border zones,” he said.

“The demilitarized zone allows the civil administration and the other regular forces to stay in the area to provide protection for the civil population,” he added.

The border commission is a mechanism agreed upon by Sudan and South Sudan in the 2012 joint cooperation deal.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on July 2011 but border disputes have dragged on.

c)       Nyamilepedia: UN Welcomes ratification of Human Rights treaties by South Sudan

June 9th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The United Nations welcomed on Friday – in a statement – the ratification of two human rights treaties by South Sudan.

South Sudan which gained its independence from Sudan in July 2011 is the world’s youngest nation and it is still not part of many international treaties.

Last week, South Sudan’s Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) ratified two international trieaties on human rights: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

In a statement issued on Friday and extended top the Nyamilepedia, a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights welcomed the development.

“We welcome the unanimous ratification, without reservations of two vital human rights treaties this week by the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) of South Sudan,” Rupert Colville said in a statement on Friday.

“The TNLA on Monday ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), as well as the First Optional Protocols to both instruments, which establish individual complaints procedures,” the statement added.

It further said once the decision is approved with the presidential signature, “the Government will need to deposit instruments of accession to the UN Secretary-General. The treaties and optional protocols will enter into force for South Sudan three months after the date of accession.”

It added that the Human Rights Division of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has “provided technical support throughout the ratification process, which began in 2015.”

7.       SUDAN

a)      The National: Sudan's military releases three opposition leaders amid civil disobedience

The Sudanese military council released several high-profile members of opposition group Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North on Monday, according to reports.

Deputy chair for the group Yassir Arman, group spokesman Mubarak Ardol and secretary general Ismael Khamis Jalab have been released five days after the first arrest was made, Al Arabiya reported.

Mr Ardol and Mr Jalab were arrested on Saturday, the day after meeting the British ambassador's deputy in Khartoum, the country's capital.

The release of the three opposition leaders marks a possible de-escalation in tensions between civilian protesters and the military, with at least 117 civilians killed and 500 injured in recent clashes.

It comes on the second day of a civil disobedience campaign, which has closed shops and businesses in Khartoum and left the normally bustling streets deserted.

The military has blamed the civilian government for the escalation, which killed four people on Sunday.

"The Alliance for Freedom and Change [umbrella protest movement] is fully responsible for the recent unfortunate incidents … violating international humanitarian laws," said Lt Gen Jamaleddine Omar on state television late on Sunday.

"The Military Council has decided to reinforce the presence of armed, rapid support and other regular forces to help normal life return."

He said security forces would provide "security to isolated civilians, reopen roads and facilitate the mobility of people, public and private transport and protect markets and strategic state installations".

Violence began last week when paramilitary forces loyal to the Transitional Military Council used live ammunition to clear the main protest site in Khartoum. The council said they were clearing "criminal elements" from the site and apologised for the violence.

The civilian-led protest movement called the military's actions a "massacre", saying they would cease negotiating with them and called for "full civil disobedience", which has been met with tear gas and more live fire.

The military also said they would break contact with the civilian movement, but has since offered to restart negotiations.

Sudan's escalating crisis received worldwide calls for calm and has led to efforts by regional actors, most notably Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, to negotiate peace.

Sudan's military and civilian-led protest groups are battling for control of the country's government following the ousting of President Omar Al Bashir in April.

b)      Radio Tamazuj: Sudan authorities deport opposition figures to Juba

Sudanese security forces on Monday freed and deported a prominent opposition leader detained in Khartoum last week.

Arman, the deputy leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North under the leadership of Malik Agar (SPLM-N Agar), was released and deported to South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

 The opposition leader was sent to Juba along with the opposition movement’s secretary general Ismail Khamis Jalab and its spokesperson Mubarak Ardol.

Mubarak Adrol, the spokesman of the opposition group, told Radio Tamazuj this afternoon that they were forced to leave the country. “We are now in Juba. We have been deported from Khartoum,” he said.

Ardol did not explain the reason for their detention.

There was no immediate response from Sudan authorities. But state news agency SUNA reported that the detained opposition figures have been released, without further details.

Arman, who had recently returned to the country after years in exile, was detained by security forces on 5 June. Jalab and Ardol were arrested on 8 June after the ruling military council met the Ethiopian prime minister who was in Khartoum to try to revive peace talks.

Last week, the African Union (AU) suspended Sudan's membership days after the army launched a deadly crackdown on protesters that killed dozens of people.

8.       ZAMBIA

a)      Lusaka Times: Half-baked intelligence data released by FIC jeopardising cases under investigation-Siliya

Government has said that the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) is jeopardising cases that are under investigation by publishing half-baked intelligence data.

Speaking on ZNBC’s Sunday interview, Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya said that some of the cases cited are already before the courts and under investigation.

Ms Siliya said that it is dangerous to alarm the nation with alleged report of criminality without providing any details and evidence, and that, instead of rumour mongering, FIC should give the information to other government wings for further processing.

Ms Siliya said that the institution is very important, but its work will be diluted if it is politicized.

Ms. Siliya, who is also Minister of Information, said that was professionally wrong to allege criminality before you hear from those that have been accused, adding that FIC does not have the mandate to find anyone guilty as that is the duty of the courts.

Meanwhile, Governance Expert Maurice Malambo has said that the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC)’s criteria to release information to the public before the conclusion of investigations on perceived financial crimes is tarnishing Zambia’s image internationally.

Mr. Malambo observed that the situation is creating a wrong perception that the corruption levels in Zambia are high which is also eroding investor confidence, and that the situation is jeopardizing investigations.

Mr. Malambo was speaking in an interview with ZNBC News in Lusaka.

He also called on the FIC to start channeling information on perceived financial crimes to the investigative wings instead of releasing it to the public.

Mr. Malambo echoed sentiments to amend the FIC Act to restrict the institution from releasing information to the public before the conclusion of investigations.

b)      Lusaka Times: HH challenges President Lungu to inform the nation on what was done to those cited in the 2017 FIC report

The rampant corruption and economic sabotage reported in the Financial Intelligence Centre’s 2018 Trends Report does not only make sad reading for a country that is in such a terrible economic crises, it actually tells us how arrogant the PF Government is, and how and determined they are to continue looting the fortunes of our country, take advantage of the fact that Zambians are a peaceful citizenry that will only talk and eventually walk away from the issue. It is sad for the country, sadder for its people and sadder still and shameful for the PF supporters who do not even benefit from the corruption, but keep supporting the PF simply for the feel good effect of being aligned to the ruling party.

In 2017, the country lost K4.5 billion through corruption, according to the FIC’s 2017 Trends Report. This has increased to K6.1 billion in 2018, meaning in two years, the PF Government has lost K10.6 billion, which is about US$1 billion through corruption. This is more than the US$750 million euro bond that is due in 2022. The President can save this country if only he can empower the law enforcement agencies and allow them to do their job of prosecuting the people that have looted the country and compelling them to return the money.

The PF Government has lost K10.6 billion, which is about US$1 billion through corruption. How many successful prosecutions did Zambia record on his watch?

We want to believe that President Lungu means well when he says he is committed to fighting corruption. And if he does, we want to challenge him to inform the nation what he has done to those who were cited in 2017 report for milking K4.5 billion off the country through corruption. How many successful prosecutions did Zambia record on his watch? Is Mr. Lungu letting these people go scot-free and yet still expect us to believe that he is fighting corruption? Mr. President, we are still waiting for your Executive action on the 2017 Trends Report, and we demand that those cited be compelled to bring back the K4.5 billion that they stole in 2017.

For 2018, the law enforcement agencies have again received 80 reports of suspected money laundering. We demand to know how many of these cases have been acted on. We demand that the K6.1 billion be forensically traced and brought back to the Government coffers this year. This is not PF Government money; it is the money of the Zambian people, which was entrusted to you Government. And on your watch, it was lost. We demand it back!

If you are not willing to head this crusade, one day, the Zambian people will head an anti-corruption crusade against you. As UPND, we will stand, as we always have, with the people to demand Zambia’s money back. If you think you will shield these culprits until 2021, there is life after 2021. The Bembas say “umulandu taubola”. The Zambian people will one day demand what rightly belongs to them. I am sure Zambian people would want to one day respect you as a former President, but to earn this respect, we urge you to also respect them today by securing their resources and therefore their future. As it is now, Edgar Lungu is being viewed with contempt, and many would say he deserved it because he has exhibited a leadership weakness that a President should never show.

You know the thieves and corrupt elements in your Government. You know each of your Ministers and the wealth they had when they joined you. You know for instance that a few years ago, your Minister Lusambo was just a parker at Cash Crusaders. Today Mr. Lusambo has become such a wealthy businessman that he can donate goods worth millions to his constituency. If not through corrupt dealings and pillaging of public resources, where do you think Mr. Lusambo might have gotten the money from when you know his salary as a provincial Minister?

You know Mr. Chitotela was just a police constable before joining the PF. Then he becoming a Minister and today Mr. Chitotela has amassed massive amounts of wealth. When ACC arrests him, you tell us that he is innocent and will continue as Minister until proven guilty. Where is the integrity and morality in keeping an allegedly corrupt person on your administration? Yes, the law may provide for that, but why did you not apply the same principle when Emerine Kabanshi was embroiled in the ZAMPOST Social Cash Transfer saga if your motive is not to aid and abet corruption? Same game and different rules, these are signs of your weak presidency Mr. Lungu.

As we demand the repayment of the K10.6 billion (about US$1 billion), which your colleagues have stolen in the last two years, we also demand that you immediately introduce amendments to the Public Procurement Act among others, to prohibit participation of shell corporations in public procurement. This is a key channel through which money is being stolen. Amending the Public Procurement Act was actually one of the promises the PF Government made in 2017 as part of the structural reforms towards fiscal fitness. Why have you grown cold feet if not to facilitate corruption? And yet to find it quite easy to amend the entire Constitution simply because you would rather weed out elements of the Supreme Law that are inconvenient to the PF, irrespective of the cost to Zambia.

As leaders, we shall continue to fight for accountability, good governance, the rule of law and justice. On behalf of the Zambian people, we demand that you take Executive Actions that will compel Law enforcement agencies to move swiftly in prosecuting those cited for corruption, theft, money laundering and so o; and that you institute a credible and transparent process for bringing our money back!

Our Vision

To be an authoritative and autonomous Think Tank that catalyses reforms and promotes best practices on complex governance issues in the Great Lakes Region.

Our Mission

To reinforce the capacities of social and political institutions of ICGLR Member States in the areas of Democracy, Good Governance, Human Rights and Civic Education.

© 2019 ICGLR's Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre. All rights reserved.

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