DEC EXPLAINS DAVIES MWILA ARREST…we’re not probing PF funding but possession of funds one cannot explain – Mary Chirwa

DEC EXPLAINS DAVIES MWILA ARREST…we’re not probing PF funding but possession of funds one cannot explain – Mary Chirwa
Davies Mwila

DEC EXPLAINS MWILA ARREST
…we’re not probing PF funding but possession
of funds one cannot explain – Chirwa

By Kombe Mataka

WE are looking at whoever is in possession of funds they cannot explain because the law does not exempt anyone, says Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) director general Mary Chirwa.

Chirwa told The Mast that there is no law that regulates political party funding but that the commission is mandated by law to investigate whether funds and property donated to a party are proceeds of crime.

She was reacting to the statement by former PF secretary general Davies Mwila that the PF would not disclose its sources of funds because there is no law that provides for disclosure of political party funding in Zambia.

Mwila, who was arrested on Wednesday for the offence of being in possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime, said the PF would not disclose its sources of campaign funds in the August 2021 elections because there is no law regulating the same.
“We are not investigating funds of a political party per se but when you look at money laundering definition, you will appreciate that anyone in possession of funds suspected to be proceeds of crime, it does not exempt anyone. And neither does it exempt any political party.

So if we have any suspicion of one being in possession of property and property includes funds, any funds that you cannot account for, in our Act we have the mandate to investigate. So we are coming from that angle. We are not coming from a political angle of looking at any political party. And that is a misconception,” Chirwa explained. “You yourself if a minister donated money to you and you were in possession of that money, we are obligated to find out from you where that money came from and whether it was legally acquired. And remember that under the FIC (financial intelligence Centre) Act, a number of reporting entities are law firms. So if a law firm is in possession of funds from anyone through a suspicious transaction, they are mandated to report that.

There are so many angles you need to look at when you are looking at the law and you need to read them in line with other pieces of legislation. So I want to categorically state that DEC is not investigating any political party in terms of their political funding but we are looking at whoever is in possession of funds that they cannot explain because the law does not exempt anyone. It does not exempt any political party.”

And Chirwa said DEC had summoned former first lady Esther Lungu to appear before the commission on tomorrow.
“You have followed reports everywhere of the preliminary investigations that have been done and I can only confirm with you that yes indeed that they appear before DEC investigators on the 12th of July and we have no problem with that,” said Chirwa.

Source – Zambianobserver.com