Mchenga, Shonga’s stance is professional madness — Kabimba
General (AG) Abyudi
Wynter Kabimba yesterday described
Attorney General Abyudi Shonga and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chalwe
Mchenga's stance on the abuse of office clause as professional
And Kabimba said the members of parliament who voted for the
removal of the clause were a shameful lot that should never be given a fresh
mandate by the people in 2011.
Commenting on Parliament's passing of the
Anti-Corruption bill that sought to remove the offence of abuse of office from
the 1996 Anti-Corruption
Commission (ACC) Act, Kabimba, who is also a lawyer, expressed
dissatisfaction with the decision.
"The Zambian people must redeem the
law as an instrument of social justice from the hands of those that have come to
regard the law as a vehicle to perpetuate their personal interest to the
detriment of the people of Zambia," Kabimba said.
"This is the only way
one can describe the position taken by the Attorney General and DPP on the
removal of the abuse of office clause from the ACC Act. This group of
professionals, which has ganged up with a group of mercenary politicians cannot
be expected to move this country forward in the fight against
He said there was nothing unconstitutional about asking
someone to account for wealth which is disproportionate to his or her income
while serving in public office.
He said there was nowhere in the world
where public office paid or made people wealthier than they had been in the
"The only justification, therefore, that one would have
for standing against such a demand for one to prove their wealth is that they
want to perpetuate a system where those in public office have become predators
of the public resources to which they are not entitled. The MPs who voted for
that clause cannot be expected to go back to the people of Zambia in 2011 to ask
them to put them back into the same offices when it is very clear that their
intention is to work against the interest of the Zambian people," Kabimba
"They are indeed a shameful lot that should never at any time ever
be entrusted with public office. Having said what I have said, it can only be
described as professional madness for anyone at this time when the fight against
corruption is a major priority for any country in the world to declare a clause
like the one on abuse of office as unconstitutional."
He urged Zambians
not to lose heart.
"These political mercenaries are on their way out and
our government will certainly not only reinstate that clause but broaden the
definition of corrupt practices and abuse of office in a manner that is going to
protect the public resources. Corruption should not stop to be corruption just
because they have removed that clause," Kabimba said.
"It is not the
removal of the abuse of office clause that is going to guarantee immunity to
those engaged in corrupt practices. We shall still find out what they have done
whilst in office and if they have abused public resources against the people of
Zambia, they shall certainly be prosecuted."
He said as far as PF was
concerned, the issue had not been closed.
"And does not get closed by
removing that clause from the statute books," he said.
Parliament passed the Anti-Corruption bill that sought to remove the offence of
abuse of office from the 1996 Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act. This was
after the Attorney General and DPP had backed the removal of the
Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs,
Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters last week, Shonga revealed that the
government proposed to remove the abuse of office offence from the ACC Act
because it had existed unconstitutionally.
And Mchenga supported the
removal of the offence from the Anti Corruption bill, saying it did not promote
justice in its current form.