Tuesday, August 07, 2007
By Noel Sichalwe and Brighton Phiri
Tuesday August 07, 2007 [04:00]
THE Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) on Saturday sought services of the Zambia Army to forcefully transfer to various provinces officers suspected to be whistle blowers in the financial scandals at the institution. And Patriotic Front president Michael Sata yesterday declared that he would continue attacking President Mwanawasa's family tree until Chitoba was suspended.
On Saturday night, four armed military officers forced their way into unsuspected DEC officers who have been issued with letters of transfer to physically help them pack and leave to their various areas of posting.
The soldiers clad in military uniform using a military truck started their assignment with Justine Phiri around 03:00 hours on Saturday and ordered him to start packing without prior notice.
Sources said Phiri's wife, who works for Madison Insurance, protested against the forced transfer but the soldiers forced her husband to go.
"Mr Phiri just packed clothes in a small bag and that is how he left," the sources said.
Afterwards, the soldiers went to Clement Mweupe around 04:00 hours whom they approached unexpectedly and told him to pack and go.
The sources said Mweupe tried to resist the impromptu move but the soldiers even assisted him to pack so that they could start off. "You know this is the officer whose wife works for the judiciary and they were forced to go without informing her employers," the sources said.
The sources said some of the DEC officers who were transferred could not even find accommodation and were only squatting with well-wishers. Both Phiri and Mweupe have been transferred to Mansa.
Among those transferred is Jacqueline Chisi who has been taken from headquarters to Solwezi. Chisi was also demoted by seven ranks from that of senior human resource personnel to a clerk, and Trevor Malambo, assistant commissioner who has been transferred to Ndola. Others are Mercy Lungwane, an assistant investigations officer who has been transferred to Mpulungu, Patson Chiwala, a senior investigations officer and his wife Hope Chiwala, an investigations officer who have been posted to Kabompo while Mable Lumbwe, a clerk officer has been posted to Kasama.
Bridget Kafwimbi, an investigations officer has been taken to Kasempa, Chansa Chibwe, a senior investigations officer has been transferred to Kabwe, Justine Phiri, a senior investigations officer has been posted to Mansa and Anice Luwi, an assistant investigations officer has been posted to Mpulungu.
The ACC is investigating Chitoba and his deputy Jacob Koyi for abuse of authority of office involving about K1 billion.
And reacting to Lamba speaking people's spokesperson Jobb Shamfuti's threats that the Lambas would deal with him in a manner befitting his venomous attacks, Sata said Shamfuti was the wrong person to speak on behalf of the Lamba people because he belonged to President Mwanawasa's family tree.
"I will not fold my hands until Chitoba faces the law just like Gladys Nyirongo and Frighton Sichone, who were fired to pave way for investigations over allegations levelled against them. I am ready for them," Sata said.
"I am not talking about the Lamba speaking people, but members of Mwanawasa's family tree who are over protected against prosecution. Shamfuti should not try to shield Chitoba from prosecution using the Lamba speaking people. When Chitoba and Shamfuti are waxing in fat, they forget they are Lambas but when trouble gets close to them they want to hide in the tribe."
Sata said the Lambas and Lenjes were suffering like any other Zambian, through the high cost of living, poverty, and lack of drugs in health institutions among others. Sata said Shamfuti's statement was a deliberate ploy by members of the Mwanawasa family tree to mislead the nation that he was attacking the tribe.
"I have no intention of attacking the tribe because we are all wallowing in poverty," Sata said. Sata asked State House to challenge his statements that there were members of the Mwanawasa family tree at government, party and diplomatic levels.
He also challenged Chitoba and Shamfuti to deny being related to President Mwanawasa. Sata reminded Shamfuti that the corrupt allegations levelled against Chitoba were not about the Lamba and Lenje speaking people but two individuals in DEC.
"What I expected from Shamfuti was to deny that Chitoba does not belong to the family tree. State House has not said anything, it is quiet," he said. "Chitoba should be reminded that I will not wait for Shamfuti to come and sort me out before he faces the law."