Davies Mwila

By Mwaka Ndawa

FORMER PF secretary general Davies Mwila says it is in the public interest that his law suit against the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) is determined on merit, unlike curtailing it on baseless grounds.

He alleged that the UPND was trying to use State machinery to stop him from being heard by the courts by asking it to dismiss his case on a point of law which he said was wasting the court’s time.

Mwila has sued the State in the Lusaka High Court over the DEC’s decision to quiz him and Antonio Mwanza regarding the former ruling party’s source of funds during campaigns prior to the August 12, 2021 general elections.

Mwila who has commenced the action on behalf of the party wants damages for intimidation and harassment of PF members by the DEC.

He is seeking damages for discrimination, misrepresentation and defamation of character.

Mwila also wants the court to declare that the party cannot be compelled to disclose its source of income and that the money was not laundered.

The State had asked the court to dismiss the case with costs on a point of law.

The office of the Attorney General had submitted that Mwila’s action was an attempt to challenge the Commission’s statutory authority to conduct criminal investigations relating to allegations of money laundering against members of the public.

It said the reliefs Mwila was seeking were aimed at curtailing the ongoing criminal investigations, which involved some member of the PF, through the institution of the civil proceedings.

But in an affidavit in opposition to affidavit in support of notice of motion to dismiss the action on point of law, Mwila clarified that the action did not in any way attempt to circumvent the DEC from conducting its criminal investigations against him and other known persons.

“The defendant has merely failed to deduce or comprehend the questions which the pleadings have raised,” Mwila said. “The pleadings have raised the following questions which are supposed to be determined by the court; (1) whether or not the DEC has got the constitutional or statutory mandate to compel the plaintiff to disclose its source of funding used in the 2021 campaigns?

(2) whether or not the government has got a legal framework or statute which can be used to compel the plaintiff to disclose its source of campaign funding used in the 2021 general elections?

(3) whether or not political party funding is or amounts to money laundering?

(4) whether or not the action of the defendant through DEC was discriminatory when it’s only singled out the PF to disclose its source of campaign funds but left out other political parties which participated in the 2021 campaigns and the general elections?

5)Whether or not the DEC misrepresented facts and consequently defamed the plaintiff when PR manager maliciously misinformed the nation through the press that it summoned the plaintiff and the media director for purpose of investigating money laundering relating to the said individuals and not the party.”

Mwila said the court had not issued any court order compelling the Commission to stop carrying out its statutory obligation of investigating money laundering allegations.

He said the PF was not an institution regulated by the DEC’s supervisory authority.

“Out of the 16 political parties that participated in the 2021elections, the PF are the only ones that have been singled out and targeted by the DEC, and the discriminatory attack on the party has instilled fear in the mind of its members,’’ Mwila submitted.

“DEC knowingly and deliberately made false statement about the purpose of the interrogation the PF party’s media director and the said Commission knew that it was making a false statement to the public through the media and the malicious statement was actually published by several media houses. The Commission’s false statement made on September 21, 2021 about the purpose of interrogating Antio Mwanza, harmed the reputation of the plaintiff as members of the public were made to believe that the plaintiff was involved in money laundering.”

He said the DEC contumeliously disregarded his rights, damaged the reputation of the PF, and continued to threaten the existence of the party and the welfare and rights of its members.

“I am at pains to understand an untrue and unresearched assertion that this action is frivolous. The mode by which this court has been moved to determine the defendant’s application is not available in matters commenced by or against the defendant as such this application is improperly before court, consequently robing the court of its jurisdiction to determine the application,” said Mwila.


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