By Hon Bowman Chilosha Lusambo
I wish to confirm that a team of officers from the Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday forced their way into my private residence in Chamba Valley on the pretext of conducting a search for undisclosed items.
They arrived just after 09 Hours in the morning and conducted their operation until 14:30 Hours. They arrived at my property with Journalists to create drama about the so called search.
At the time of the purported search, I was not present as I was away in Ndola visiting my Constituency.
Without identifying themselves and uttering any search warrant, the officers forcibly proceeded to access my property including the master bedroom where my wife was dressing up as she prepared to go and attend a funeral. The officers did not explain what they were searching for and presented a rude demeanor to my wife, my children and House Staff. They even searched my wife’s handbag and grabbed money for relish. The officers also ended up grabbing my wife’s mobile phones and another one which is nonfunctional, a licensed gun and some drawings of a building for a proposed police post we intend to construct for the people of Kabushi. Infact the said drawings which the officers confiscated were submitted to our Building Committee by the Police High Command.
As stated before, I am a law abiding citizen and I have never at any point failed to cooperate with any legally instituted investigation, be it criminal or civil. What I will not succumb to is intimidation and harassment using state institutions. The officers being used in such operations should realise that Zambia does not belong to any one individual who is giving them illegal orders. Time will surely come when they will answer for their actions individually. The unprofessionalism and incompetency by the ACC can be seen in its very low conviction rates. What is ACC’s interest in a licensed gun? If there was any problem with my gun, Zambia Police would have been the appropriate agency to come and question me about its possession and use.
In a functional society where rules of natural justice apply, the ACC should have written to my lawyers stating why they needed to search my property, obtain a search warrant and present it to me in the presence of my lawyers who should be present for the entire duration of the search. If they find anything incriminating, they should then summon us for questioning and if at all they feel they have enough to form a prosecutable case, present us before a Magistrate and then meet us in court.
Now ACC officers want to act as if they are a law unto themselves. We will not allow the UPND to misconduct themselves using state institutions. To President Hichilema, the five year mandate you received from Zambians does not give you a license to wantonly abuse state institutions.
Zambia is for us all and we are not running away to any other place. We are still here and even if you eliminate us today, our children will come and inherit our resolve to create a better Zambia, for all.