President Michael Sata, has applauded the combined team of Zambia Police Service, Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for conducting a successful operation that resulted in a seizure of K2.1 billion cash at Mr Austin Liato’s Mumbwa farm.
The President said he has learnt with great shock, the discovery of such huge sums of money concealed in a strange and most unusual manner at the former labour minister’s farm.
“No doubt, the Mafia-style under which this money was hidden raises serious questions about how the same was acquired. It breaks my heart to see how someone could go to such extremes to conceal money if it was legitimately acquired,” the President said.
“This only goes to show the Zambian people the extent to which the mandate they gave those they entrusted with authority to preside over affairs of state was abused.”
The President said unearthing a total sum of K2.1 billion buried in two steel trunks under a thick layer of concrete slab in a highly fortified and electronically fitted structure, sends a wrong signal about the image of the country because this is not exemplary behaviour from political leaders.
President Sata said this is just one of the many operations the combined team of investigators were carrying out regarding suspected criminal activity that took place under the previous regime.
“Of late, some suspects have been unreasonably grumbling by issuing pre-emptive statements to try and threaten a duly elected government against carrying out its legitimate mandate. This discovery is a serious indictment on all those elements that may be facing possible charges of corruption and other forms of wrong-doing including those who have seen it opportune and convenient to betray the Zambian people by siding with such people,” the President said.
“Let me make it abundantly clear that this is just the beginning and our colleagues should not panic or resort to desperate measures of seeking false public sympathy by mischaracterising legitimate investigations as persecution. This is not a witch-hunt, we are moving systematically by taking into consideration all leads and clues into what happened in the past. After all the Zambian people are the complainants and they deserve nothing but the truth.”
He urged the investigating wings to ensure that they follow the due process of the law and take to court only those cases they are satisfied with.