…but if Lungu means it, let him relinquish immunity – Kazabu
By Kombe Chimmpinde Mataka
FORMER deputy livestock minister Luxon Kazubu says Drug Enforcement Commission has exhibited levels of incompetence.
He also saying, “Mr [Edgar] Lungu is speaking the way he is speaking because he knows that to have his immunity removed is not the easiest of things to be done. So why can’t he himself create history by being the first former head of state to voluntarily relinquish his own immunity so that he can have that space now to go and defend himself in court? He knows very well that deep down his heart, it will not be easy for the immunity to be removed.”
Kazabu told The Mast that it was pointless for the DEC to go and seize a property of a former president who is enjoying immunity from prosecution.
“We all know that you cannot prosecute a former head of state who has immunity but that is not to suggest that the former head of state should be allowed to get away with wrongdoing. Secondly, in my view, the investigative wings, in this case Drug Enforcement Commission have displayed some degree of incompetence. They shouldn’t have proceeded the way they did,” Kazabu said. “By the way, those officers other than the head, Madam Mary Chirwa, the rest are ones that served under the PF. So for me, there was no point in going to seize property for a person you know you cannot prosecute. It is an exercise in futility. It is a terrible case of the incompetence on the part of the Drug Enforcement Commission and I hope going forward such mistakes and incompetence will not be there to show
its ugly head but this is far from the suggestion that there is lawlessness.”
Kazabu said that former president Edgar Lungu’s utterances were unfortunate.
“It is a language that can only come out of a mouth of a person that is bitter because some of his lieutenants, the people he worked with,
who are being arrested for wrongdoing. He also got offended but for me it does not matter whether you are my brother and sister. If you choose wrong things the long arm of law must visit him and at the end of the day whatever happens Zambia should come first. Our loyalty is to Zambia,” he said. “He is offering the current government an opportunity for him to have his day in court!
Look as a statesman and if he means what he says, he himself can relinquish his immunity, how else should we do [it]? Mr Lungu is speaking the way he is speaking because he knows that to have his immunity removed is not the easiest of things to be done. So why can’t he himself create history by being the first former head of state to voluntarily relinquish his own immunity so that he can have that space now to go and defend himself in court? He knows very well that deep down his heart, it will not be easy for the immunity to be removed. That is why he is challenging the government of the day.”
Kazabu noted that Lungu still had “loyalists within the system”.
“You know some of the people he worked with…It is really a question of ‘look he is our former boss so we must stand with him’. Unless you have people who are really highly principled and that is when you say to yourself that ‘for me if a motion should come, I will vote in support of that motion because for me, my country comes first, anybody else is second’. But in this part of the world, we have seen it before that those that would have worked with a former president will always stand with them even if they know he committed some wrong. If it was simple majority, we know he wouldn’t say that because simple majority can easily be attained. But two-third is a bit of a mountain
to climb,” said Kazabu. “He is saying there is lawlessness now? There was lawlessness under his leadership. Now we are seeing the restoration of the rule of law. And proof is there for everybody to see. If anything he should be the first person to be ashamed of the things that happened under his rule.
We witnessed the worst rule in terms of governance. Cadres assumed powers which they did not have and did all sorts of things under his nose. There are videos of how individuals were brutalised, incarcerated. Come on man! You are a former head of state. Can you present yourself as a statesman! I didn’t expect that kind of language to come from him. He knows deep down his heart, that there was extreme lawlessness under his leadership which the current government is trying to correct. Examples abound. We have people who have been arrested for committing various offences and they have walked away via bail or police bond in no time. Things which did not happen under president Lungu, unless one is a stranger to this country. So it is unfortunate he came out the way he did. That is not a mark of a statesman and a former president.”
On Thursday, Lungu said he is ready to face the law if he stole during his tenure as president. He’s unhappy that he as well as his former government officials and family members are subject of investigation for crimes allegedly committed when he was president. He was particularly displeased that state investigators on Thursday went to a piece of land that he owns to carry out investigations. Lungu challenged his successor Hakainde Hichilema to start the process of removing his immunity from prosecution so that he can clear his name.
“He who alleges, must prove and we will defend ourselves,” Lungu told PF members of parliament and supporters who visited him. “My urge is that may the President institute the lifting of my immunity by going to parliament to lay a case so that he can eventually prove what crimes I committed.”