PRESIDENT Lungu’s special assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda has asked the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to publish details of the interview with him two months ago over an alleged single-sourcing of the Na-tional Savings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE) regarding an advertorial in the French newspaper, Le Monde.
Mr Chanda said he was suspicious of the move by the ACC to summon him over a project that happened in November 2011, shortly after the Patriotic Front (PF) was voted into office.
He said in an interview with the Sunday Mail yesterday that reports in The Post indicating that he single-sourced NATSAVE to place an advert are not only false but malicious.
“I’m asking the ACC to publish the full details of the interview I had with them two months ago over the advertorial that was proposed by a French newspaper [Le Monde].
I worked in State House for nine months before I was sent to London by the late former President Sata and this issue was never raised by the ACC.
Why should the commission raise the matter four years later, now that I’m the press aide to President Lungu? “After I was interviewed by the ACC, I did mention to them that I wanted this matter made public but they pleaded with me not to do so because they interviewed me only as a potential witness not a suspect.
I wanted to make the matter public because I was alive to the fact that it was done for purposes of leaking parts of the interview to The Post. Some people at the commission have now released false information to The Post,” he said.
“When information reached me that the ACC interview had been leaked to The Post, I brought the matter to the attention of Ms Wandi in the presence of Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Roland Msiska.
She assured me that she would check and regretted the incident as unacceptable if it were true.” Mr Chanda said in 2011, shortly after President Sata ascended to power, Le Monde wrote to State House to consider placing an advertorial in one of their supplements.
He said President Sata assigned him and former press aide George Chellah on the project of which they wrote to 120 parastatal and private companies to participate in the advertorial.
He said the promoters interviewed President Sata, Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda and five other ministers and some chief executive officers of some companies.
Mr Chanda named some of the companies that were written to as Stanbic Bank, Zanaco, Mopani Copper Mines, Konkola Copper Mines, Maamba Collieries, Indo- Zambia, Chamber of Mines and Zamtel.
“We wrote the letters between October 2011 and February 2012, and some of the letters were actually drafted by George Chellah.
Zamtel and Chamber of Mines wrote to us and indicated they were unable to partici-pate in the advertorial as they did not have a board in place to approve,” Mr Chanda said.
He said the ACC should resist the temptation of being used as a lynch mob as it is an important State institution.
“ACC is an important public insti-tution of governance and so they should not behave like a lynch mob [instant justice mob],” he said.
And Mr Chanda said ACC director-general Rosewin Wandi’s retirement has nothing to do with investigations regarding some Govern-ment officials “and, therefore, The Post, story to link her departure to investigations is not only misguided but preposterous in the extreme”.
He said Ms Wandi has retired as she has reached retirement age, adding that she still enjoys cor-dial relations President Lungu.
Mr Chanda said Ms Wandi has been in constant touch with President Lungu regarding her future after the ACC.
Ms Wandi has given notice to retire from her position in accordance with section 10 (8) of the ACC Act No.3 of 2012.