By ALVIN CHIINGA
POLICE have instituted investigations to establish the identities of three individuals who allegedly masqueraded as intelligence officers and attempted to search former Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimbaâ€™s office at the ministry in Lusaka on Monday.
In a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday, police acting public relations officer Esther Katongo refuted media reports suggesting that the Zambia Police Service had sent intelligence officers to conduct a search at Mr Kabimbaâ€™s former office.
â€œWe would like to refute these allegations and categorically state that as Zambia Police, we have not in whatever manner conducted any search on the former Ministerâ€™s office,â€ Ms Katongo said.
But Ministry of Justice permanent secretary Josephs Akafumba said in an interview yesterday that two police officers and one from the Office of the President visited his office on Monday with intentions of witnessing a search at Mr Kabimbaâ€™s former office.
He said the men identified themselves as police officers from Kabwata Police Station and that they had been sent by their commanding officer.
â€œI found them here [Ministry of Justice premises]. After they said they wanted to witness a search, I told them to wait for those they said were supposed to do it but they did not show up,â€ he said.
Mr Akafumba said he later phoned Mr Kabimba, who agreed that they be allowed to search the office, but that he hesitated to allow them because they initially stated that they had gone there to witness the search and not to conduct it.
He said the police officers remained at the ministry from morning until late afternoon when they left.
Meanwhile, Lusaka Province commissioner of police Lemmy Kajoba also said police are not investigating Mr Kabimba, who is also former Patriotic Front (PF) secretary-general.
Mr Kajoba said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday he has not received any report of the police investigating Mr Kabimba after he was fired by President Sata last Thursday.
â€œI have not received any reports that the police are investigating Mr Kabimba and as far as I am concerned, we are not investigating him,â€ he said.
There have been reports suggesting that Mr Kabimba is being investigated and pursued by security wings.
Mr Kajoba also said police did not go to the Ministry of Justice to witness Mr Kabimba handing over office to newly appointed Minister of Justice Edgar Lungu.
â€œThis is not the jurisdiction of the police to witness Cabinet ministers handing over office. The police have no mandate to do so,â€ Mr Kajoba said.
And Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and CommunicationsÂ said in a separate interview that according to procedure, Mr Kabimba is still in possession of Government vehicles.
Mr Mukanga said that the vehicles will remain with Mr Kabimba for a month to fulfil procedural requirements.
â€œThe government vehicles can even be with Mr Kabimba for a month as this is what happens when someone is relieved of their duties,â€ he said.
By ALVIN CHIINGA