Socialist Party 2021 presidential candidate Fred M’membe says the provisional liquidation of his company, Post Newspapers Limited, does not mean his death.
M’membe said this after a seven-hour questioning at Muchinga Province Police Headquarters where he was interviewed by the Police commissioner Joe Njase.
Upon arrival at the station at 08:25 hours, he was availed a statement of complaint by the Post provisional liquidator Lewis Mosho and police recorded a warm and caution statement from him at 14:25 hours.
According to the party, the complaint states that police were making inquiries in the offence of possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime contrary to section 71 (1), a, b,c (2), (3) of the forfeiture of proceeds of crime Act Number 19 of the laws of Zambia.
“It is alleged that Dr Fred M’membe, on unknown dates but between the year 2012 and June 19, 2019, acquired land and built structures in Mwika Village, sub-chief Mwaba Nkulungwe, chief Nkula’s area in Shiwang’andu district of the Muchinga Province of the Republic of Zambia,” the statement read.
The said structures are alleged to be from resources suspected to be proceeds realised from some Post Newspapers Limited shares and assets which Dr M’membe is further alleged to have concealed and not declared to the provisional liquidator of the Post Newspapers Limited in liquidation.
The former the Post Editor-in-chief said he understood the allegations levelled against him.
“You’re further warned and cautioned that you’re not obliged to say anything in answer to these allegations unless you wish to do so. But whatever you say shall be taken down in writing and may be used in evidence in the courts of law,” the Police told Dr M’membe. “You’re also reminded that you have a constitutional right to legal representation.”
M’membe chose to respond and said: “Unless they kill me physically, I will still be here smiling, laughing. I came into this world with nothing and I will leave with nothing. As long as I live and in good health, I will be able to feed myself. This year, I produced maize at Mwika; a huge harvest which nobody in the entire history of Nkulugwe has ever produced.”
He added that “Mr Mosho is provisional liquidator of The Post Newspapers Limited, he is not a provisional liquidator of Fred M’membe, Fred M’membe has a life separate from and beyond Post Newspapers Limited”.
“The provisional liquidation of Post Newspapers Limited does not mean death of Fred M’membe. Post Newspapers Limited was a creation of Fred M’membe. Fred M’membe is not a creation of the Post Newspapers. But it would seem when they placed the Post into provisional liquidation, they thought that was the end of Fred M’membe’s life; they thought he was dead and buried. They can’t believe he’s still alive today smiling, laughing. And even built a huge house in the village,” Dr M’membe said.
“They wanted me to die. They took away my investments of 25 years. I’m in Mwika village not because I have nowhere else to go; I am there because that’s the land of my birth. The land my ancestors left me with, collectively with my relatives. It is not land curved for me by some benevolent sub-chief. I went to Lusaka after finishing my form five at St Francis Secondary School, Malole, P.0. Box 49 Kasama, Northern Province of the Republic of Zambia in 1976. I went to Lusaka to attend the University of Zambia. After that I started work in Lusaka.”
He stated that his response to Mosho’s complaint is that he did not commit any crime and he had not procured any form of proceeds of crime as complained and that any honest investigation will prove that.
Dr M’membe described Mosho’s complaint as simply a political ploy by him and his political masters to try and curtail his political work for 2021.
He was recently issued a call out to report to Chinsali Police in connection with a house he built in his village, Mwika, in Shiwang’andu district.
Muchinga Police Division issued the call out to Dr M’membe via Police Headquarters in Lusaka where he was summoned to appear last Thursday.
Dr M’membe was ushered in with only two party officials while the rest of his delegation were ordered not to come out of their motor vehicles.