International Zambia (TIZ) executive director Goodwell Lungu yesterday said
former president Frederick Chiluba failed to prove, through witnesses, during
his just-ended trial that the US $8 million in the Zamtrop account was his.
Commenting on Chiluba's intentions to reclaim the US $8 million that he placed
in the intelligence account following his recent acquittal by magistrate Jones
Chinyama, Lungu said even the judgment that led to Chiluba's acquittal of
embezzling US $500,000 was somehow controversial.
"Our position is that
the judgment was somehow controversial in that the Auditor General, Anna
Chifungula, who was the defence witness, in short defending the accused, did
adduce evidence in court to the effect that all funds whether private or public,
which are put in a public account is supposed to be forfeited to the state,"
Lungu said. "We believe that was authority enough...that if one claims he or she
put private money in a public account, that argument may not be
Lungu said Chiluba did not call any witness during his
defence to confirm that the money in question was his.
"We are left
wondering as to how Dr Chiluba can claim that was his money," he said. "I think
he has every right to sue the state to claim that money. We feel that if the
ruling will be such that a person can put private money in a public account then
that will be the end of our public financial management system, for the simple
reason that any public officer will put their private money in public
Lungu said there should be a separation between private and
"It will promote lawlessness if that scenario is
sustained," Lungu said.
Asked to comment on the stance that President
Rupiah Banda has taken over the Chiluba issue, Lungu said it was difficult to
believe President Banda at the moment because he had on a number of occasions
defended wrong things.
"He misled the nation that honourable Dora Siliya
was cleared of all the breaches that the tribunal found," Lungu said. "Our word
of encouragement to the current President; when we provide this constructive
criticism, we want him to reflect now before it is too late, because he will
leave office one day. We do not want him to be prosecuted in the same way as Dr
Lungu said President Banda had every opportunity now to create
a scenario of doing what was right.
Addressing congregants at Matero's
Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) last week, Chiluba said he was going to
claim 'his' US $8 million in the Zamtrop account, saying what was yours was
yours [Akobe kobe].
Addressing journalists at Lusaka International
Airport shortly before departure for Swaziland last Friday, President Banda said
he had no quarrels with Chiluba and that he would not inherit other people's
enmity with him.
When asked to comment on Chiluba's statement that he
would claim 'his' US $8 million, President Banda said the matter would be sorted