LOCAL Government and Housing Minister Bennie Tetamashimba has surrendered to the Ministry of Health an official being probed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in connection with the theft of K10 billion.
Mr Tetamashimba said in an interview in Livingstone yesterday that he did not want the beleaguered official at his ministry and decided to take him back to the Health Ministry where he was working at the time he acquired the wealth which was now under probe.
He said that he had instructed his Permanent Secretary Coillard Chibbonta to send the employee back to the Ministry of Health where he came from because he did not want his ministry to get entangled in corrupt activities.
He said he wanted all the issues surrounding the official to be sorted out by the law enforcement officers and the Health Ministry where he was based at the time of allegedly committing the offences.
Mr Tetamashimba said he was in Bahamas with Mr Chibbonta when the scam was unearthed and advised the permanent secretary to suspend the official.
The minister said some opposition leaders had been in the forefront of accusing the Government of being corrupt but had failed to condemn the K10 billion scam because those involved financed their campaigns.
President Rupiah Banda on Thursday deplored the continued thefts among civil servants and asked Secretary to the Cabinet Joshua Kanganja to ensure that all those implicated in corrupt practices were removed.
The ACC said yesterday that it had made headway in the probe into the theft of the K10 billion and would submit names of officers implicated to Dr Kanganja next week for action.
The commission said the matter was not only complicated but also required thorough investigations before names of suspects and those involved could be forwarded to Dr Kanganja.
ACC chairperson, Justice Valentine Chileshe said at a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the commission hoped to effect some arrests soon.
He said the commission had been working with a team of auditors from the Auditor General’s office to establish the extent and involvement of the various officials at the Ministry of Health in the transactions in question.
In another development, the Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWUZ) has said it will not defend any individuals involved in abuse of public funds meant for the development of the country.
CSAWUZ deputy general secretary Betty Mutambo was reacting to recent revelations of abuse of public resources in the various Government ministries by some civil servants.
Speaking during the Ministry of Energy and Water Development Labour Day prize giving ceremony in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Mutambo said the union would not defend any corrupt civil servants who have selfishly abused public funds meant for the development of the country.
Ms Mutambo said the union was dismayed by the level of corrupt practices among the civil servants.
[Times of Zambia]