Tuesday, January 15, 2008
By Ntalasha Mutale
Tuesday January 15, 2008 [03:00]
CHITOBA has left a bad name for the Drug Enforcement Commission, acting DEC commissioner Peter Chingaipe has said. In an interview, Chingaipe said one of his missions this year was to rebuild DEC’s image, which he said had been damaged by suspended DEC commissioner Ryan Chitoba.
“My aim is to move forward and on a new, clean slate in order to restore our lost glory and win back the confidence of the public. I want the Commission to clean the bad name that Chitoba left,” Chingaipe said.
He urged DEC officers to maintain integrity and morality in their work so they could move forward and be disassociated from Chitoba.
“We are beginning to consolidate the foundation of a new beginning. We all know what DEC went through in the past year and the issue now is not who did what, but how do we move forward,” Chingaipe said. “We must reconcile and forget the past but note the lessons we have learnt thereof.”
Recently, Chitoba and his deputy Jacob Koyi were suspended to pave way for investigations into the alleged theft of over K300 million public funds.
Chingaipe urged his officers to work in unity and improve their performance in their areas of jurisdiction.
“We have to rebuild our image to improve performance. And in this case, I want all regional commanders to be in control of their areas of jurisdiction, to report to my office on a daily basis so that I am kept appraised with what is going on the ground,” he said.
Chingaipe said DEC would not fulfil its mandate if its officers divided themselves into camps.
And Chingaipe said DEC had a problem of inadequate flow of operational funds and recurrent charges.
“This is also affecting our operations. All departments, divisions, units and provinces have been affected,” he said. Chingaipe also said DEC had set aside about K30 million in their budget to purchase a speed boat for patrols around the Siavonga border post.
He said the lake was unmanned and illegal traffickers were using it to pass drugs in and out of the country. He said transportation was dragging DEC’s work behind as the vehicles they were currently using were purchased five years ago.
“We only have one land cruiser per Province and we have been struggling to keep up with our work because of that,” he said.
And Chingaipe revealed that the most porous border in the country was Nakonde because of inadequate infrastructure and human resource