Africa-Press – Zambia. President Hakainde Hichilema’s New Dawn Government has embarked on a transformative process that has resulted into coordinated efforts and strategies in the fight against corruption, money laundering and international terrorism, the United Nations has been informed.
Zambia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Muhabi Lungu has said President Hichilema is deeply troubled with financial crimes and international terrorist activities hence his desire to have oversight governance institutions such as the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) to be adequately funded and staffed to counter terrorism and illicit financial transactions.
Mr Lungu who is Charge’d Affaires said Zambia is concerned over the impact international terrorism has on economies because the world was still a long way from declaring victory on terrorism with most countries still grappling with the scourge.
Delivering Zambia’s statement during the ongoing 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76) on measures to eliminate international terrorism, Mr Lungu said there was need for increased international coordination and enforcement of national and regional laws to combat terrorism and mitigate its effects on economies.
Mr Lungu stated that Zambia had established the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), an autonomous statutory body whose core function was the prevention and detection of money laundering, terrorism and proliferation of financial crimes.
He stated that the new FIC law was aimed at allowing the institution to better monitor suspicious activities in personal bank accounts that could be used to conceal business transactions with criminal elements.
“The newly elected Government of President Hakainde Hichilema is currently pursuing a five-year transformative process in its national development programme, which aims at ensuring that the strategy on the fight against corruption, money laundering and international terrorism is well-coordinated.
“We are grateful for the technical support we have continued to receive from cooperating partners, and urge that further assistance be given to ensure Zambia and other developing countries enhance and strengthen the capacity of all relevant institutions established to eliminate international terrorism” Mr Lungu said.
He said although Zambia had been spared from direct terrorist attacks, the country was still vulnerable to because it is not immune to the clandestine operations of terrorist organisations.
He said the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism mechanism, as well as the Financial Action Task Force process were fully activated and functional.
He told Member States to the United Nations that Zambia, through its National Assembly had passed the National Anti-Terrorism Proliferation Act No. 6 of 2018 to enhance her capacity to prevent crimes of terrorism.
“Zambia is not immune to the clandestine operations of terrorist organisations. Although Zambia has been spared of direct terrorist attacks, the country is still vulnerable to attacks, and certain preventive measures have been put in place. The Zambian National Assembly passed the National Anti-Terrorism Proliferation Act No. 6 of 2018,” Mr Lungu said.
The Charge’ d Affaires urged Member States to the United Nations to be extremely cautious because it was during times of conflict that reactive governments and terrorised populations became more malleable and willing to forego economic and political rights as well as civil liberties in exchange for peace and security.