IT has now emerged that the five purported security agents who attempted to search former Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba’s office were actually criminals who were sent there to steal sensitive government documents, says a source.
The revelation follows a dismissal of allegations that State security agencies were planning raids on Mr Kabimba’s former office and residence.
Five people purporting to be State security agents on Monday wanted to search Mr Kabimba’s former office at the Ministry of Justice but failed after being stopped.
The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) yesterday distanced itself from a group of purported State security agents who attempted to search Mr Kabimba’s former ministerial office.
On the other hand, the Police Service also dispelled media reports that its officers were dispatched to search Mr Kabimba’s former ministerial office.
Civil rights activist Brebner Changala observed that since the said officers had been disowned by all the State investigative wings, there was a possibility that someone was trying to steal government documents from Mr Kabimba’s former office.
Mr Changala has also wondered how Mr Kabimba’s lawyers and a journalist knew about the search when the State did not know anything about it.
He said it was possible that some people wanted to stage a burglary that was going to look official and that sensitive government documents were going to be stolen.
Mr Changala commended Ministry of Justice permanent secretary for administration Joseph Akafumba and his staff for being alert and denying the suspects access to Mr Kabimba’s former office.
“If the people who went to Mr Kabimba’s former office at the Ministry of Justice were not from the State, there is reason to believe that there could have been a scheme to steal sensitive government documents. There was going to be a burglary in Mr Kabimba’s former office that was going to look official and documents were going to be stolen. Now that the police and DEC have disowned the people who went to the Justice Ministry, it is important that the incident must be investigated,” he said.
DEC spokesperson Theresa Katongo said yesterday that if it were DEC officers who had gone to the Ministry of Justice, it could have been documented to show that they would be carrying out an operation at Mr Kabimba’s former office on Monday.
Ms Katongo said it could have been other security wings and certainly not DEC officers who wanted to conduct a search on Mr Kabimba’s former office.
“It was not our officers who went to Mr Kabimba’s office; it could be other people, not us. Moreover, we were told that there was an identification card (ID), so it was those people as identified by the ID,” she said.
Ms Katongo said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the commission has been very transparent in the manner it had carried out searches to avoid speculations.
And Police spokesperson Esther Katongo said in a press statement yesterday that police officers did not in any way attempt to search at Mr Kabimba’s former office.
“We would like to refute the allegations and categorically state that as Zambia Police, we have not in whatever manner conducted any search on the former Minister’s office,” she said.
Ms Katongo said whenever police officers conducted such searches; they have done them in a transparent manner.
She, however, said police officers would institute investigations to establish the people behind the act and pretending to be intelligence officers from police service.
On Monday, five people went to the Ministry of Justice where they found Mr Kabimba’s lawyers and a journalist from one of the media house to conduct a search without clearance documents but were turned away.