Law enforcement agencies in Zambia are incompetent – FODEP

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.

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.
 

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