Transformation Talk on Asset Recovery & Forfeiture

Speakers and participants of the „Transformation Talk on Asset Recovery & Forfeiture“ in Zambia.
Speakers and participants of the „Transformation Talk on Asset Recovery & Forfeiture“ in Zambia.

On May 15, 2024, a high-level "Transformation Talk on Asset Recovery & Forfeiture" took place at the University of Zambia (UNZA) in Lusaka, which was attended by the ambassadors of Germany, Finland and the European Union, the Director General of the Zambian Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Dean of UNZA, representatives of the Zambian National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Transparency International, GIZ and “German Cooperation”, as well as numerous students and lecturers from UNZA. In his opening statement, the Director General of ACC emphasized the importance of the anonymous online whistleblower system developed in cooperation with the Twinning project, which represents a major step forward in Zambia's fight against corruption.

Two representatives of the Twinning project from IRZ and the Finnish agency HAUS then had the opportunity to discuss the differences and similarities between the various legal systems and practical issues relating to asset recovery and confiscation in a lively panel discussion with representatives of the ACC, the NPA and Transparency International. The discussion focused in particular on whether confiscation of assets without prior conviction can be a useful measure in the fight against organised crime and corruption, and whether the confiscation of unexplained wealth – for example by applying rules on reversing the burden of proof – could be introduced. All participants agreed that asset recovery and confiscation are important aspects in the fight against crime and that this topic is of great importance.

The lively participation of the audience in the discussion and numerous questions posed by students, lecturers and Zambian civil society showed that the topic is of great importance in the current political discussion in Zambia and must be pursued further – also with the participation of IRZ as part of the Zambian Twinning project.