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PF sues State over DEC investigations on its sources of campaign funds

PF Secretary General Davies Mwila has sued the state in the Lusaka High Court against the decision of the Drug Enforcement Commission to quiz him and Antonio Mwanza over the party’s source of campaigns funds prior to the August 12, 2021 general elections.

Mwila, who has commenced the action on behalf of the party, has cited the Attorney General as the respondent in the matter.

He wants damages for intimidation and harassment of PF members by the DEC.

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

He also wants the court to declare that the PF cannot be coerced to disclose its source of income and that the same was not laundered.

In his statement of claim, Mwila stated that the party was not an institution regulated by the DEC’s supervisory authority.

Mwila said sometime in September this year, officers from DEC’s anti-money laundering unit summoned him and questioned him about the source of funds for last month’s elections and the officers linked the same to money laundering.

He said PF media director Antonio Mwanza was equally summoned by Teddy Mambepa and quizzed about the same.

Mwila said DEC had continued to exert pressure on the party’s junior officers to disclose the source of funds in relation to the party’s source of funds during elections.

He stated that DEC had continued to threaten the existence of the PF, including its members with prosecution if they do not disclose the source of campaign funds.

“Out of the 16 political parties which participated in the 2021 general elections, only the PF has been singled out and targeted by DEC and the discriminatory attack on the party has instilled fear in the minds of its members,” Mwila lamented.

“The DEC has not interrogated other political parties which participated in the 2016 general elections on the source of campaign funds and up to date known political parties in Zambia have not been interrogated by the commission.”

Mwila contended that the welfare and the rights of the party members and employees at the secretariat were at risk due to intimidation, victimisation and harassment being perpetuated by officers of the DEC.

He said the DEC misinformed the public when it alleged that Mwanza was being interrogated for money laundering when in fact he was being questioned on the source of campaign funds.

Mwila claimed that DEC’s statement in relation to Mwanza injured the reputation of the party as the public was made to believe that PF engaged in money laundering.

He charged that DEC and other law enforcement agencies do not have the authority to compel the PF and other parties to disclose the sponsors of the August 12 general elections.

Mwila further stated that the money used for campaigns prior to elections was not laundered and DEC disregarded the PF’s rights and damaged its reputation.

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