FOUNDATION for Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director McDonald CHipenzi says Law enforcements agencies in the country are incompetent in in handling court cases. FOUNDATION for Democratic Process (FODEP) has accused Law enforcements agencies of being incompetent in handling court cases.
The FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzin said this in an interview with the Lusaka Star in reference to the recent acquittal of former Zambia Railways Limited managing director Clive Chirwa by the Lusaka Magistrate court for two counts of abuse of authority of office and one count of failing to declare interest.
Mr. Chipenzi said the case of Prof Chirwa was unfortunate as he was prosecuted with no concrete evidence.
He urged Law enforcement agencies to double their check information before taking someone to the courts of law for prosecution, adding that people would lose credibility and trust in them (law enforcement agencies).
The FODEP Executive Director called on law enforcement agencies in Zambia to revise their approach in dealing with such issues, deeming the current approach as incompetent.
“When they (law enforcement agencies) find someone with a crime, they should not just rush to the courts of law. If they do their homework before hand, they would actually find that the case has a whole different side.
“What will people think of the Law agencies in Zambia if they keep prosecuting people and later acquitting them? People will lose trust in them,” he reiterated.
Meanwhile, Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has urged Law enforcement agencies in the country not to relent but learn from notable weaknesses in the acquittal of Prof Clive Chirwa.
In a statement released by TIZ and made available to the Lusaka Star, information officer Charles Chulu noted that Prof. Chirwa's acquittal serves as a learning experience to Law enforcers.
Mr. Chulu said drastic measures have to be taken in order to produce adequate and strong evidence when dealing with such cases.
He added, “Despite the acquittal, TIZ welcomes the conviction and sentencing of former Zambia Railways Finance Director Regina Mwale.”
Mr. Chulu claimed the conviction of Mrs. Mwale will send a strong deterrent signal to all would-be offenders.
He lamented that “if leaders fall short of values relating to integrity, accountability and transparency, then they deserve to go to prison to reform.”
Mr. Chulu said TIZ as an institution founded on principles of transparency and accountability hope that the lessons learnt from Professor Chirwa’s case in which he was co-accused with Mrs. Mwale will compel public officers to refrain from engaging in similar conduct that in the end deplete public tax payer’s money.
The Lusaka Magistrate Court sentenced former Zambia Railways director of finance Regina Mwale to 18 months simple imprisonment for two counts of abuse of Authority of Office in which she was accused of using public funds to pay Falls-Way Apartments for Professor Clive Chirwa’s accommodation without the Board’s authority.
FIFA GRASSROOTS PROJECT DUE FOR TAKE OFF
The Ministry of Sports and FAZ has laid the ground for FIFA spearheaded grassroots project for youth development.
Ministry of Sports Permanent Secretary Agness Musunga said the project will be under the wings of the Ministry of Education and will target youth from eight years going upwards.
The tripartite agreement will be signed next Wednesday and will formalize the commitment of the parties to work together to implement the FIFA Grassroots Project from 2017-2020.
“The FIFA Grassroots project will cover three parties which is Ministry of Education, Sports and FAZ,” she said.
And FAZ General Secretary Ponga Liwewe said that the project will enhance the development of football.
Liwewe said the move was part of the wider goal of FAZ to develop youth football.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga put youth football on top of his developmental agenda pinning it among his three key areas that involved league restructuring, referees education and youth football on top of his transparency gospel.
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FIFA RESPONDS TO FAZ COMPLAINT ON NIGERIA APPEAL
FIFA has put a close to the debate around the complaint lodged by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) over an Augustine Mulenga disallowed goal in the 1-0 loss against Nigeria in a Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier on October 7.
The World soccer governing body has ruled that it would not act on the complaint as per their regulations there was no evidence of external influence or manipulation.
According to a letter signed by Disciplinary Committee vice chairperson Julien Deux, dated October 17, 2017 there could be no action as guided by article 5.6 of the FIFA regulations the referee’s decision is final.
“In this context, we refer your association to article 15 par 6, of the regulations of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, which clearly stipulates that no protests may be made about the referee’s decisions regarding facts connected with play. Such decisions are final and not subject to appeal,” stated the letter.
“Having said that, and for the sake of good order, we would like to emphasize that on the basis of the documentation and information currently in our possession, there is no evidence of any infringement of the applicable regulations by the referees of the match in question.”
The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) filed a complaint with FIFA seeking an independent review of the match officiated by Botswana referee Joshua Bondo.
There was widespread outcry for FAZ to appeal to FIFA over the disallowed goal with parallels drawn with other situations where the world soccer governing body had ordered replays.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga had told journalists on the permutations of the outcome when journalists pressed him in the aftermath of the match in Uyo.
“But the rules being what they are you cannot overturn the decision of the referee,” Kamanga said.
“The only basis is when there was external influence. So the referee maybe carpeted for making a wrong decision but the decision still stands and unfortunately that is where we stand.”
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