THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has instituted investigations into nine cases arising from findings of the Auditor General’s 2015 report.
ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono said the commission has picked 15 cases from the Auditor General’s report out of which nine were authorised for investigations, while five were referred to other relevant institutions for administrative action.
In press briefing yesterday, Mr Moono also said one case was recommended for corruption prevention exercise and investigations in the nine cases are ongoing and have reached an advanced stage
Beloe is the full Press Briefing
Members of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen
I wish to warmly welcome you all to the Commission’s 3rd Quarterly briefing for 2016.
The activities undertaken by the Commission and significant strides made in the fight against corruption in the third quarter will form the content of this brief. These activities are with regard to the Commission’s efforts in the areas of corruption prevention and public education as well as investigations and prosecution of offenders.
Ladies and Gentlemen, during the quarter, as you are aware, a major national event took place, in the form of the 2016 General Election, in which His Excellency President Edgar Lungu was re-elected and given a fresh mandate. The Commission once again congratulates both the Republican President Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Her Honour the Vice President Mrs. Inonge Mutukwa Wina on the re-election.
The Election process is of great interest to the Commission, particularly as it relates to electoral malpractices and electoral corruption. During the period leading up to the Election, the Commission recorded five (5) cases of suspected corruption, and these related to the manner in which some of the Grade Twelve Certificates were obtained as well as how some National Registration Cards were acquired by some candidates. The cases also included allegations of bribery during the adoption process of some candidates.
As was reported in the last Quarterly Briefing, Investigations were instituted in two (2) cases and the investigations have not adduced sufficient evidence for prosecution. As such these cases have been closed.
The Commission did not receive any complaints of Electoral Corruption during and after the August 11 Elections.
I will now give you a breakdown of the Commission’s activities during the quarter.
Members of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen,
During the third quarter of 2016, the Commission, under its corruption prevention mandate, continued to engage both public and private institutions in a bid to promote integrity within the respective institutions as well as address issues of corruption by identifying and sealing the existing loopholes for corruption. Corruption Prevention interventions in institutions also aims at ensuring that members of the public access services from institutions in a corrupt free and transparent environment.
The following are among the activities undertaken:
The Commission continued to facilitate the formation of new Integrity Committees (ICs) in both public and private institutions, as well as offering technical support to existing ones. The Commission conducted trainings for IC members from Cabinet Office, which is recently formed IC, as well as the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) and the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA). The ICs in different institutions have continued implement measures aimed at streamlining corruption prevention within their respective institutions. For instance The Zambia Police IC recently developed and launched the Zambia Police Service Charter which will make it easier for members of the public to access services from the Police. The Road Transport and Safety agency (RTSA) IC also recently launched a Service Charter and it is the belief of the commission that steps such as these will result in improved transparency in the acquisition of services by the public.
The Commission concluded a Corruption Vulnerability Assessment at the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA). The Corruption Vulnerability Assessment was commenced in 2014. The exercise was aimed at identifying opportunities for corruption and recommending remedial action. The CVA has brought out a number of areas that require attention in order that corruption is curtailed at the institution.
The Commission also conducted an evaluation of the National anti-Corruption Policy as well as the Integrity Programme. This culminated into the release of evaluation reports for the Policy and IC programme. The evaluation was done to gauge the effectiveness of the NACP and the IC programme. The evaluation found that the two programmes are necessary tools in the fight against corruption, and they needed to be strengthened going forward and problematic areas dealt with
The Commission continued to conduct various public awareness campaigns aimed at equipping members of the public with knowledge on corruption that will enable them to actively and effectively participate in the fight against corruption. During the quarter, the Commission reached out to over 533, 000 people with sensitization messages across the country.
Activities conducted in the 3rd quarter in this regard are as follows:
The Commission conducted Seventeen (17) lectures in various districts of the country. Through the lectures, a total of 852 people were sensitized. The target audiences were drawn from different sectors and they included institutions of learning, public and private organisations, political parties and the general public.
The Commission also continued to engage youths with the view of imparting values of integrity and honesty in them from a tender age, and as they grow, they internalize these values and grow with them as they become adults.
I wish to take this opportunity to commend the University of Zambia, for setting an example to other institutions of higher learning through the re-launching of the UNZA Anti-Corruption club recently. Corruption in higher learning institutions is a serious threat to the educational sector and the formation of Clubs in these institutions will extend the arm of the Commission especially with regard to conducting sensitization campaigns and devising preventive measures.
The Commission conducted Study Circle Meetings with various groups from different organisations with the recent ones being with students at Community Development College in Kitwe, Marketeers at Chikumanino, Tazara and New Town Markets in Kasama, and in Mansa with District Farmers Association members. In Lusaka, study circle sessions were held with members of Tadhiwa Charity Organisation.
These sessions help to bring out the issues being faced by particular sectors in society with regard to corruption. The issues are given active and necessary attention by the Commission in order to address corruption in the various sectors. For instance the sessions with students at the Community development college revealed that that students were allegedly being made to pay for attachments to various institutions, a situation which the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of Community Development were reportedly not aware of. The Commission has since engaged the Ministry of Community Development on this matter.
The rationale behind enhanced public sensitization activities is that since the members of the general public have a huge role in the success of the fight against corruption, they need to be given as much information as possible on corruption to enable them understand it and report it effectively.
Investigations and Prosecutions
Members of the Press,
During the quarter under review the Commission received a total of 288 reports of suspected cases of corruption.
Out of these cases, 204 reports did not have elements of corruption and as such advice was given to all those that provided the information on how to best pursue the matters.
84 reports contained elements of corruption and out of these 57 were authorized for investigations. 27 reports did not have sufficient details of the corruption offence to warrant investigations to be conducted. Of these cases, some were referred to relevant institutions for administrative action while others were referred for corruption prevention exercises. Others were closed with no further action. The complainants in these matters were also advised accordingly.
Currently the Commission has a total of 588 cases under investigation. The Commission recorded 2 arrests and 2 convictions country-wide. By close of the quarter, there were 85 prosecution cases before the courts of law.
Some highlights of recent high profile cases that are before the Courts:
The arrest of Livingstone Mayor Milford Maambo, Councillor for Musi-oa-Tunya ward Ziwa Malilo Ziwa and Former Acting Town Clerk Chabala Chanda for corrupt practices. This matter is still before the courts of law.
The arrest of five (5) Ministry of Health officers for Theft by Public Servant involving K471,275.00. This matter is still before the courts of law.
The arrest of Chama District Council Secretary, Yaphet Simpamba for corrupt practices involving K100, 000.00. This matter is still before the courts of law.
The Commission also takes note of the Auditor-General’s Report recently released and the issues reported in it. The Commission further takes cognizance of the statement by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu that law enforcement institutions should deal with the cases in the reports in accordance with their mandates.
I wish to inform you that the Commission, in collaboration with the Office of the Auditor General has been investigating some cases arising from the report. The Memorandum of Understanding between the ACC and the Auditor-General’s office enabled the Commission to have access to these cases even before the Report was released.
The Commission has picked a total of 15 cases from the Auditor-General’s report. Of these, nine (9) cases were authorized for investigations, while five (5) were referred to relevant institutions for administrative action. One (1) case was recommended for Corruption Prevention Exercise. Investigations in the (9) cases are ongoing and have reached an advanced stage.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Commission strongly believes that the fight against corruption in Zambia can and will be won. With the support of stakeholders such as government, cooperating partners, and the general public, the fight against corruption will continue to score successes until corruption is reduced to levels so low that it will be easy to detect.
I wish to re-iterate the Commission’s position regarding the pronouncements made by His Excellency the Republican President Mr. Edgar C. Lungu during his speeches both during the Presidential Inauguration ceremony on 11th September as well as the Opening of the First session of the 12th National Assembly on 30th September regarding the fight against corruption.
On both occasions the Republican President’s stressed the focus and attention that his Government will place on the fight against corruption and this demonstrates a clear political will which is a necessary ingredient in waging a successful war on corruption. The Commission, in response, will position itself to take advantage of this Political Will by ensuring that it efficiently and effectively execute its duties in accordance with its mandate as provided by the Anti-Corruption Act No 3 of 2012.
I wish to thank you for taking time to attend this briefing.
PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER
ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION – LUSAKA