TIZ maintains that government’s tendency of pardoning convicted former ministers serving prison sentences on the context of being sick is a form of political manipulation and an obstruction of justice. TRANSPARENCY International Zambia (TIZ) has condemned the continued release and pardoning of former ministers from Zambian prisons.
Speaking in an interview with the Lusaka Star, TIZ director Goodwill Lungu said TIZ had received with great dismay the release of former labour minister Austin Liato.
He said government’s tendency of pardoning convicted former ministers serving prison sentences on the context of being sick is a form of political manipulation and an obstruction of justice.
Mr. Lungu lamented that TIZ was deeply disappointed that the said former ministers continue to serve only a short period of time in prison.
“Former ministers are released on the so called medical grounds when there are so many prisoners with worse health conditions and have received a blind eye from the authorities,” he said.
Mr. Lungu said “this is not the right trend and it must be stopped immediately as it is detrimental to the fight against corruption and undermines the doctrine of separation of powers which is vital for the promotion of good governance.”
He said some of the pardons being made amount to abuse of authority adding that the executive must realise that it is demoting the foundation of fairness and good order in society.
“It is ending a message that criminality and corruption pay as long as one can render support to the ruling party. This is a dangerous path because criminals will undoubtedly take over the running of this country and will therefore hold the state captive,” Mr. Lungu added.
The director urged government and law enforcers to take great caution and put national issues first instead of selectively applying the law for their own political interests.
And speaking in a separate interview, Foundation for Democratic Process executive director, Macdonald Chipenzi has charged that the prerogative of mercy had been exposed to abuse of authority claiming it was therefore not serving its purpose.
Mr. Chipenzi hoped that the law be applied fairly and become more accountable to the people following the release of Austin Liato from prison.
He added that, “We have seen people who have forged certificates and have been pardoned not knowing whether those certificates are now being used to get employment out there all in the name of prerogative of mercy.”
The Supreme Court in June upheld the two-year jail sentence with hard labour on Mr. Liato by the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court for possession of K2.1 million reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
The former Minister of Labour and Social Security Austin Liato was along with 21 other inmates discharged from prison on compassionate grounds due to ill health.
Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila ordered the release of Mr Liato and 21 other inmates in exercise of the powers vested in him under Section 31 (111A) of the amended Prison Act number 16 of 2004.
ZANACO OPEN A THREE LEAD IN MTN/FAZ SUPER LEAGUE
Zanaco Football club has continued occupying first position on the MTN/FAZ Super league table after recording their third back to back victory with Real Nakonde being their latest casualties in Week 32 round of matches played between yesterday and Tuesday 24th October.
Zanaco’s Heritier Nkonko was first to find the back of the net for the bankers against Real in the 36th minute while a 69th minute second-half goal by Felix Nyaende condemned Real Nakonde to their 20th loss of the season.
Meanwhile, Second placed Green Buffaloes yesterday played to a zero zero stalemate with Lusaka Dynamos while Kitwe based Power dynamos on Tuesday managed to salvage a one all draw against their copperbelt rivals Zesco United.
And Nkana yesterday thrashed Nkwazi by two goals to zero in a thrilling match played at Nkana stadium with Striker Ronald Sate Sate Kampamba scoring in the 26th minute through a Harrison Chisala assist.
Nkana continued to search for a second goal and their efforts were rewarded as left back Dieugo Apanane's ferocious goal from a free kick in the 85th minute pushed the Kitwe based to fourth position on the table.
This means Zanaco still seat in first position with 60 points from 32 games played while Green Buffaloes trail the bankers in second place with 57 points from 32 games.
Zesco united are in third position with 56 points and two games in hand while Nkana occupy fourth position on 55 points after 32 games played.
At the bottom of the table in relegation waters is City of Lusaka seating on 20th position after recording their 24th loss of the season from 31 games, while Mufulira Wanderers, Konkola Blades and Real Nakonde occupy 17th, 18th, and 19th positions respectively.
THE FAZ/MTN SUPER LEAGUE TABLE AFTER WEEK 32 ROUND OF MATCHES
WEEK 32 FULL RESULTS
Zesco 1-1 Power Dynamos
Lumwana Radiants 0-1 Napsa Stars
Nkana 2-0 Nkwazi
Zanaco 2-0 Real Nakonde
Konkola Blades 1-2 Red Arrows
Mufulira Wanderers 0-0 Choma Eagles
Nchanga Rangers 1-0 Buildcon
Green Buffaloes 0-0 Lusaka Dynamos
City of Lusaka 0-1 Kabwe Warriors
Nakambala Leopards 0-0 Forest Rangers ... See MoreSee Less
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