Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC),
INVESTIGATIONS ON THE 48 HOUSES
We wish to draw your attention to the above.
- Several citizens of our country including ourselves, indicated to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) that you needed to furnish the public with information relating to the identity of true owner(s) of the 48 houses in Lusaka’s Chalala area but to date, as an institution mandated to do so, you have not informed the nation on who owns these properties.
- On our part, we now have reason to suspect that while being in possession of all the requisite information relating to identity of the individual (s) who substantively own the said 48 properties, the ACC appear to have willfully withheld this information from the public for fear of political reprisals at the hands of powerful political power brokers.
- Thus, we wish to yet again challenge the ACC to salvage their institutional and professional credibility to function, independent of all political tinkering, meddling, influence or intimidation, to disclose the identity of the beneficial owners or person(s) in respect of the 48 properties, based on the information below.
- We understand that the plot was initially owned by an individual of Asian origin and you know him.
- We understand that this individual sold the plot to a group of people who subdivided the same and sold a number of plots.
- We believe the 48 houses were built between 2012 and 2014 by this mysterious owner.
- We understand that this owner has 30 complete houses and 18 incomplete houses. Out of the 30 complete houses, 29 maybe occupied.
- We also understand that this same owner has 30 additional empty plots in the same locality.
vi We understand that the lease agreement for the 29 houses are in the name of a Ndola based lawyer, who you should know.
- We understand you interacted with the person who has been collecting rentals from tenants.
- We are aware that these 48 mysterious houses are different from the 49 houses owned by a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) reported in the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) report of 2018 on page 18.
5 FORFEITURE AND CRIMINAL ACTION
- We are aware that since 2018 you have issued two government gazette notices on the forfeiture of the said 48 houses.
- We understand an individual from a named Ministry, through himself or a lawyer, has twice claimed ownership of the said properties.
- We appreciate that the forfeiture was done as a civil action.
- It is understood that right from the beginning, the owner of these properties intended to conceal both ownership of the properties and the source of the income used to build these properties. This was and remains a criminal act.
6 CALL TO ACTION AND CONCLUSION
- From information above, we believe you know the owner(s) of these properties and we expect you to tell the Zambian people who this person(s) is and what action you will take.
- Your failure to take immediate action raises a lot of suspicion on your ability to independently carry out your mandate. If you can fail to conclusively handle this simple matter, how about the 49 houses that have been cited in the FIC report as belonging to a PEP?
- While this case of the 48 houses is still fresh, we now have the allegedly corrupt and illegal sharing of massive pieces of land by PF aligned individuals and government officials in the Forests 27 and 42. Can Zambians have confidence in your institution to investigate and prosecute those involved, especially that this land was allegedly shared among PF officials, PF aligned government officials and PF aligned senior judicial officers? This is reminiscent of the mafia-style of involving everyone in crime to ensure protection at every level.
- We expect you to give the Zambian people confidence in the execution of your mandate without the obvious political interference. We, however, sympathise that the Acting Director-General of the ACC is new in the institution and may not be experienced in matters of such nature, but we believe that there are senior officers in the ranks of ACC who are capable of doing a thorough job. We do not expect the ACC to fall into the same category of those who are protecting criminals, as yours is to preserve resources that belong to the people of Zambia.
- Further, we do not appreciate the statement of 7th August 2019 from the ACC Board Chairperson Judge Anderson Zikonda (rtd) as he was clearly meddling into operational matters rather than policy. This was a clear case of interference in operations as he is a political appointee.
- The ACC should diligently serve the people of Zambia and not a clique of thieves and the corrupt. The ACC must live up to its expectations and mandate and that you should conclude this matter of the 48 houses without any further delay.
7 To emphasize, from the above, it is clear that you know the owner of these properties and the nation expects immediate action on your part to make public the relevant identity. The ACC should be reminded that Zambians are still waiting for the conclusion of your investigations on the FIC cited 49 (separate) houses owned by a PEP.
Yours in the service of our country.