Wednesday, August 11, 2010

There’s enough evidence to arrest Changwe - TIZ

There’s enough evidence to arrest Changwe - TIZ
By George Chellah
Wed 11 Aug. 2010, 04:01 CAT

TRANSPARENCY International-Zambia (TIZ) executive director Goodwell Lungu yesterday said there is more than enough evidence to warrant gender deputy minister Lucy Changwe’s arrest.

Commenting on George Mpombo’s conviction and his subsequent sentencing to 60 days simple imprisonment and a K4 million fine, Lungu said Mpombo was not the only person who had committed such an offence.

“The fundamental lessons to be learnt from this case are that Hon Mpombo is not alone to have allegedly committed such an offence as we also have the likes of Hon Lucy Changwe, a deputy minister in President Rupiah Banda’s government, who is alleged to have committed a similar offence,” Lungu said.

“To make matters worse, in the case of Hon Changwe, there is allegedly more than enough evidence to warrant her arrest and the Head of State was informed about this issue by the complainant through the Office of the President (OP) in Mkushi.”
Lungu said it was interesting that President Banda had elected to pretend that one of his ministers was alleged to have committed the same offence that Mpombo committed.

“This becomes a good lesson for our leaders not to force citizens into concluding that what is now at play is the rule of vengeance and not the rule of law. It is a well-known fact that Hon Mpombo has distinguished himself as one of the leading critics of the current government. The wheels of the criminal justice have also moved remarkably faster on his case, which seems quite unprecedented,” Lungu said.

“This confirms that Hon Mpombo is not politically correct in the eyes of the current government. On the other hand, the wheels of the criminal justice system are moving very slowly on a similar case involving Hon Changwe, making citizens to believe that because she is politically correct, the President is taking long to act on a very clear case.”

Lungu said the recent events were a good lesson to both Mpombo and Changwe not to conduct themselves in the same manner in future.

Lungu advised President Banda not to promote a culture of the rule of vengeance but the rule of law.

“The cases of Hon Mpombo and Hon Changwe unfortunately point to the rule of vengeance rather that the rule of law. We appeal to President Banda to promote the rule of law. We are timely advising the President in this way as we believe that he is not a permanent President of Zambia hence our advice to him that even other leaders that may take over from him, when God and citizens determine so, should not apply the rule of vengeance on him,” Lungu said.

Mpombo was last Friday convicted by the magistrate’s court on one count of issuing a cheque on an insufficiently funded account.

He was on Monday slapped with a two month jail sentence and a K4 million fine.
And Changwe, who is Mkushi North MMD member of parliament, bounced a K10 million cheque in a house purchase transaction.

Rodger Musonda, the owner of the property in question, recently reported Changwe to the police but no action has been taken against her.

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