Attorney General says amnesty is not for politicians

Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda says the 60-day amnesty will not be extended to politicians such as ministers, deputy ministers and Members of Parliament.

He was speaking today following backlash over the amnesty which he announced yesterday. Some experts have described the amnesty as illegal and a means to let corruption suspects and poltiical masters escape prison.

Nyirenda said the amnesty will not be granted to politicians and some businesspersons against whom the government has overwhelming evidence.

Nyirenda (R) with Minister of Information Gospel Kazako (C) and Director of Public Prosecution Kayuni (L)

“We have singled out the cases where people are fearing we want to shield some people. No Minister, no MP is going to benefit. Public officers or private individuals that have information that can be used to convict other people, those are the ones we want to come forward,” said Nyirenda.

He added that the amnesty will assist government to recover money that will be used for drugs and build schools and roads instead of having cases dragging on for years without logical conclusions. He noted that there is one case which started 17 years ago but is yet to be concluded.

“It pains me when somebody steals a lot of money and then is acquitted and they come again to sue government,” said Nyirenda adding that they want to reduce the backlog of cases.

Nyirenda also rejected assertions that his office is undermining the Anti-Corruption Bureau saying it is not interfering in  investigations. He, however, said the ACB director works under the supervision of Director of Public Prosecutions who in turn is supervised by the Attorney General.

He promised that his office will continue to engage people in the country on the issue.

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