Dr Lubinda Haabazoka writes….
There should be a more professional way in which FIC should operate. My conclusion is that the nature of its reports are heavily misunderstood by the public.
FIC does not mislead people. Everything it publishes is what it has gathered from banks, real estate agents and other third parties. But here is the catch – FIC does not investigate anything. They just collect data.
Which data do they collect? According The the law, any transaction in amounts exceeding $5000 should be reported to FIC by your bank. So imagine you sell your vehicle at K80,000 to a marketeer who pays you cash. You then go and deposit the money into your account. That k80,000 will form part of the money FIC will say is corruption, terrorism etc.
According to any transaction above $5,000 for individuals and $10,000.00 for institutions should be reported. So if I call you and borrow k100,000 and you wire the money from your account, FIC will put it in their report. Then again when paying back you wire that money back, FIC will report it as suspicious.
Now you need to know that most citizens keep cash especially forex in their homes. Currently the economy cannot account for k6bn cash in circulation. It has disappeared from the financial system and part of it regularly resurfaces in form of deposits which FIC captures. Our economy is largely informal. 80% of Zambians working are in the informal sector. This is the money they use and in some cases gets into the formal system.
Our economy is largely based on black market. People buy houses using cash. To me, some findings of FIC lyashi lyamubwalwa and of course some are genuine.
Zambians thrive on half truths, therefore my advise to FIC is that they need to report only on those matters that have been proven to be actually malicious by competent investigative wings. K6.1 Bn is not a joke. That is 4 months civil service salaries or 6 months overal VAT refunds. Most of the money included in the report are not even public sector. What does this have to do with government when John a citizen deposits $6000 he has been saving at home to now buy that vehicle from japan and FIC captures it??
Fellow Zambians please read the Financial Intelligence Act.
Then FIC can you please do a sensitization on the nature of your work and reports before you cause civil unrest.
Imagine you are a tomato farmer or keep chickens. You take your produce to kasumbalesa and the Congolese pay you in total $5500. You then deposit it in your account and according to the law, FIC has to report you. Image that such transactions in a year were 10,000. FIC will say $55m of forex in 2019 was deposited from money purported to be proceeds of crime. But that’s the nature of Zambia’s economy. It’s informal. What you risk now is the informal sector shunning the formal sector. We really need to rethink our strategies. Copying the western world for any laws will make it difficult for us to attract money. Switzerland, Cayman Islands, Mauritius, Botswana have liberal laws to attract money. With your FIC which informal sector will become formal????
Colleagues don’t just be preoccupied with insulting on social media. Find time to read. Know your country, it’s institutions and laws. I am not covering up for anyone. I am just trying to make it easy for the future generation otherwise no one will cherish to work in government because immediately one is employed, you call them thieves!!!!!
My submission 🙏