It would be befitting for President Edgar Lungu to relinquish the eSwatini land gift to the nation or to the Zambian Embassy in eStwatini despite it having been received in his personal capacity, the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has said
In a statement issued yesterday, LAZ president Eddie Mwitwa said that the association is of the firm position that declaration of gifts received by any public officer or public body is good governance, public accountability, social justice and the rule of law.
He implored President Lungu to lead the way in declaring all gifts of a significant value (or gifts that do not amount to casual gifts) to the nation or parliament whenever he receives them.
Mwitwa stated that it is clear that there was no public disclosure by the president of the gifts prior to its discovery so much as to warrant questions around the purpose for its grant in the first place.
“It is clear that there was no public disclosure by His Excellency of the gifts prior to its discovery so much as to warrant questions around the purpose for its grant in the first place. Consequently, as the gift has been received, it would be befitting of the President as Head of State to relinquish the gift though received in his personal capacity to the nation or the Zambian Embassy in eStwatini.” reads the statement in part.
Mwitwa also stated the need for a strengthening of existing legislation on the issue of gifts to the office of the President and that of public officers. He called upon the Zambia Law Development Commission charged with the mandate of law reform to lead the law reform in this area in conjunction on with all other stakeholders and strengthen the law.