Green Party President Peter Sinkamba insists that neither Section 5 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act of 2010 nor any other law bars the executive director of the FIC from disseminating the findings of the agency to the public and has warned that if the Patriotic Front members coerce their leaders to fire her and the Board, his party will have no option but petition the Constitutional Court to order a referendum on the issue.
Reacting to the call by senior PF members who have demanded for the removal of Ms. Tshumba and the board for disseminating the 2017 Trends Report on anti-money laundering, terrorism financing and other financial crimes, Mr. Sinkamba said the demand by PF is uncalled for and may prove costly as the country at the moment lacks financial resources to run a referendum.
Speaking to the press in Kitwe this morning, Mr. Sinkamba appealed to President Edgar Lungu not to entertain the demand by senior PF members.
“We have looked at Section 5 of the Financial Intelligence Center Act of 2010, as well as other laws and we have not found any provision that stops FIC from disseminating its findings to the public. So it goes without saying that if the Act does not bar FIC from disseminating its findings, then it is not an offence for center to do so. We have also looked at Article 5 of the Constitution of Zambia which provides that all sovereign power is vested into the people which is exercised through their elected representatives and appointed officials and that if no power is delegated to any elected or appointed official then that power is retained by the people and exercised by the people themselves through the referendum,” he explained.
“Now in this instance, we have PF saying FIC exercised our power wrongly and we are saying they exercised it rightfully. Then per Article 5 of the Constitution, this stalemate can only be resolved through the referendum. If President Lungu agrees with his members and proceeds to terminate the services of Ms. Tshumba and the Board, without following the due process which in this instance is holding a referendum on this question, then we will challenge the President’s decision in the Constitutional Court and petition the Court to order a referendum. This may be costly, and for this reason, we appeal to the President to exercise maximum restraint,” Mr. Sinkamba warned.