THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is geared to rid the civil service of all forms of corruption and warned that within this year, a lot of prominent people who are suspected involvement in the cancerous vice will be prosecuted.
ACC vice-chairperson Christine Mulundika and Director General, Nixon Banda, warned that there would be no “sacred cow” in the anti-corruption drive and culprits should expect a tough time.
Ms Mulundika and Mr Banda said the fight against corruption was for all Zambians as the crime was worse than the HIV and AIDS pandemic.
Speaking in Kabwe when they introduced two new commissioners to Central Province heads of Government and civil society yesterday, the two said the commissioners had the capacity to clean up the civil service.
Introducing commissioners, Webby Kalikiti, a lecturer from the University of Zambia and Elizabeth Lupeta, a retired head-teacher, the two said the commission would not relent in its fight.
Mr Banda said the commission would pursue corruption cases regardless of who was involved and promised Zambians that before the end of this year a lot of “big fish will be netted.”
For sometime now, there had been allegations that the commission was selectively clamping down on corruption suspects, which he said was not true.
“This year, you will see quite a lot of big fish being netted in. There have been accusations that we have been selective in our fight but in the next few months you will see a lot of big fish being prosecuted,” Mr Banda said.
The commission was geared to wipe out corrupt practices among civil servants saying it had put in place several measures to achieve that and called on Zambians to join the fight for a better future.
One of the measures embarked on to combat the crime in the civil service was the introduction of the integrity committees in Government wings.
He said that on January 30, Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr Joshua Kanganja, would swear in the committee members from various provinces who had been trained.
The committee had already been set up in about eight Government departments and local authorities in Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces.
Earlier, the delegation paid a courtesy call on Central Province Minister Sydney Chisanga and Permanent Secretary Denny Lumbama.
Speaking in Mr Chisanga’s office, Ms Mulundika said that for sometime now the fight against corruption seemed to have been left to President Mwanawasa and the commission alone.
She said ministers and other senior Government officials should be in the forefront in the drive saying it was high time the officials supported the crusade.
The commission would assume that all those who were quiet about the issue were not in support of the commission and they could be involved in some corrupt practice.
Corruption had an effect on the lives of all Zambians and therefore there was need for concerted efforts in fighting the scourge.
In Mr Lumbama’s office, Mr Banda and Ms Mulundika appealed to the provincial leadership to move the ACC offices away from the main Government offices to make it more independent and accessible to all.
Source: Times of Zambia