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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Move by President Hichilema to Place Anti-Corruption Commission unit under his office raises concern

Headlines Move by President Hichilema to Place Anti-Corruption Commission unit under his office...

The Center for Constitutionalism and Legal Justice Director Isaac Mwanza has appealed to President Hakainde Hichilema to reconsider his decision to formally put the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) under his office, an act which has the potential to compromise the independence of the Commission.

“The new Administration of President Hichilema has, through Gazette Notice No. 1123 of 2021 formally put the ACC, the newly created Anti Financial and Economics Crimes Commission, and Office of the Public Protector, among other institutions, under his Office.

A brief history shows that the fight to liberate the Anti-Corruption Commission from being controlled or being seen to be controlled by the Presidency had been a long fight which involved the then vibrant civil society movement and the Law Association of Zambia,” he said.

“Between 1980 and 2012, the President was not only seen as having a strong hand in directing the fight against corruption as the law had allowed him to control the Commission and make regulations associated with the crusade. The Anti- Corruption (Disposable of Recovered Property) Regulations, 2004 is one example of a presidential hand in directing the fight,”.

In a statement, Mr Mwanza said”This controlling practice of the ACC by politicians continued into the 2010 ACC Act but it was not until 2012 when the then new Patriotic Front administration under President Sata showed political will by removing the President from making regulations and gave the Commission an autonomous status, which was later confirmed by the Constitutional Amendments in 2016.

Against this background, he said, Zambia achieved some milestones by giving the ACC the required autonomy against being controlled or being seen to be controlled by politicians. The current actions by the new administration is threatening the gains and may be seen as taking away that power by placing the Commission under the office of the President.

He said President Hichilema may be placing these important institutions under his control with a good intention but the end result can be disastrous.

The Director said usually, it is other people around the Presidency who begin to use these institutions to wage a war against perceived political enemies or they begin to use them to shield themselves from being investigated by the very institutions they have under their control.

Mr Mwanza said the fight against corruption will become questionable or compromised when institutions tasked to discharge such a crucial mandate are placed under political offices.

“The concern becomes even greater as the new dawn administration has indicated that it will setup fast trucks courts, which courts other people believe will be “kangaroo courts” meant to fast truck the fixing of perceived political opponents.

“Finally, the Center is aware that all Commissions are now established by the Constitution. We believe establishing a Commission is not same as establishing a government ministry or department, which can be established at the will of the President. We therefore ask President Hichilema to refer to Parliament the establishment of the Anti-Financial and Economics Crimes Commission, which would require amending the Constitution, if the same will have to be constitutionally

53 COMMENTS

  1. indeed, Bally cannot place ACC under his office. There will be no impartiality in the execution of duties of ACC. Bally may be more inclined to make exceptions for himself and his political cronies when investigating and prosecuting suspects of corruption. Bally is taking us back to the Middle Ages.

  2. Institutions such as ACC and DEC have long been perceived to be instruments for ‘fixing’ perceived enemies. This act legitimises the perception and confirms the lack of understanding of governance by the ‘new yawn’ administration. I do not remember any new administration in Zambia demonstrating such naïveté. Saddle up, a turbulent 4 years lies ahead.

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  3. The ACC is supposed to be an independent body. Ways must be found to make them only answerable to the nation and not to an individual. Today we have Hichilema, tomorrow we’ll have another president but Zambia will always be there. You can’t trust an individual.

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  4. Why doing such a thing?If he has done it then HH will be a dictotor in few years to come.Wait and see.You can’t do such a thing

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  5. Donors should ask ACC to check quality of financial receipts by Isaac Mwanza. How much is he selling articles to LT, and how much are receipts showing?
    Show us receipts, we are the stakeholders.

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  6. We do need an independent body that should oversee ACC, DEC, FIC, and Police as these are infested by PF thugs or affiliates. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s under his office or he affairs but he needs to have first hand status on progress. HH7 needs to replace a number of people urgently. The important thing here is not where the office is but how much recovery plus how many of those that engaged in illegal or corrupt activities are held accountable on behalf of the Zambian people. The looting under Lungu was far beyond

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  7. This is a complete wrong move by HH. ACC and DEC should remain autonomous. The President can advise, since the bodies fall under the Executive office, whose head is the State President. He is the chief Law enforcer after all. But to directly bring it under his office is a wrong move and weakens the bodies authority and power to go after even the President himself and his ministers, if they happen to be engaging in corruption.

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  8. Fighting corruption cancer is all welcome. But this move will shield the very people fighting corruption, from corruption activities. This is what we call:

    When Power Gets To Your Head

    HH must just encourage the ACC to follow the lead and be professional without fear, favouritism and nepotism. History in many countries including advanced nation has shown that so many times corruption is in the very institutions that fight corruption. This includes in the USA/FBI, USA/CIA, UK/MI6

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  9. Musakwa HH, We voted against this from PF who used ACC yourself. Please don’t do this. Just let the professionals who are trained to do such work, do it without interference. This is very wrong.

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  10. When I told you he was hakainde Hitler(HH), Some of you even cried for him to arrest me. Yet you are now beginning to see the real deviI incarnate in him. Zambians played around with the word dlctatorship during pf rule. Now they will know what a real dictator is. F00Ish disgruntled youths you deserve every negative thing that happens under this government.

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  11. Personally, the office can be on Mars, or under water in the Pacific…..it does not matter. What matters is that this office is functioning at full capacity.

    Maybe this fight against corruption is very personal to HH. As it should be to every citizen in the country.

    HH has probably realised that this is one fight that has to be Lee from closer to state house.

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  12. Then, what autonomy where you talking about? Bally Muntu Wabufi. His words and deeds are opposites! Iam beginning to doubt this man!!

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  13. He should be letting caged institutions fly out of their captivity instead of repeating the sins of the previous regimes. This may not go well and it may not end well either.

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  14. Ba PF mwankoles above, Understand English pls, HH has not brought ACC,DEC,FIC under state house no. He has jst created an Anti-Corruption commission at state house. That’s all

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  15. Mr President may you please provide political will through uncompromising leadership in supporting what are meant to be independent institutions as you promised.
    You may have good intentions by bringing these institutions under your office however the wrong perception & optics this shows will do more harm than good. Please let independent bodies run independently while your leadership continues to provide oversight

  16. It is perceived that ACC , DEC are compromised by PF to start any fight against corruption………

    Without an iron fisted directive looking at ACC and DEC , the theives will bribe themselves out of any investigation……….

    The theives have sacks of stolen money hidden ready to bribe ………

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  17. Independent [email protected]

    It is always a joy to read your Factual, Objective and Straight talk comments. This chap really power has gotten to his head. He is ranting from left right and centre. It appears he dose not believe he crossed the line on 12 August 2021. He fires important key position in the government and he has no replacements. Now he wonders why IMF are asking him to hurry up. I am sure they have sensed that he is still in the slumber

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  18. Fast track courts called Kangaroo courts deep inside in a kangaroo government. So does the Constitution allow such kangaroo decisions or is the baby president having difficulties contemplating how to fix his percieved enemies?
    It’s funny. The fight against corruption is not about perceived corrupt practices rather hard core evidence parked corruption fight that yield results.
    It’s so frustrating to begin to realise that you could have nothing and the only way out is to become an ACC prosecutor yourself. Very negative thought patterns.

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  19. No excuses here. The fact is that ACC, DEC and FIC should remain autonomous so that they are able to carry out their duties with an independent mind. Placing the three institutions under the Office of the President would be the biggest mistake the new dawn government will have made. I hope our president will listen to the voice of reason and reverse the decision. “Yes men” like comrade Tikki will only mislead you.

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  20. I fully understand HH has put the ACC under his wing: since the election ACC has proven to be a toothless organization; they should have been much more decisive – nobody has been arrested, and that with all those PF criminals???

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  21. The article is on point but question is who is Isaac Mwanza and this organisation…I ask as a lot of PF stooges who supported the injustices have now reinvented themselves …look Sunday Chanda he is now advising against tribalism

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  22. Like what blogger Future Zed said…Garbage out Garbage in….you will soon miss Edgar Lungu…HH has bad intentions for Zambia just see how he’s kissing white man’s ass…HH is more corrupt than Lungu and soon he will dismantle the Judiciary to align it with his office……

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  23. Why not just repeal the DEC & ACC Acts to abolish the two institutions and revert their functions back to Zambia Police under Mwami 1? Bally will learn his first political lesson after Under 5 when ACC embarrasses him. I advise him to concentrate on governance issues and leave such duties to others. I don’t support this move

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  24. The problem with our president is that he does not trust anyone and as such, he want to rule Zambia alone. Every one is wrong except him and I really feel pit for the poor cabinet ministers under his administration because anything they say or do will be subject to verification by him whether correct or not. Soon everything will be under his office. No one will be allowed to make a decision except him and him alone.

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  25. Tarino get a job and stop leaching from whlte people. Always blogging. When do you work? You are unemployed and sitting on your smelly backside all day blogging. Ba chief blogger

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  26. And the dull youths who were supporting HH blindly don’t even know what’s happening…..HH wants to rule Zambia like its his farm…soon he will start welcoming Max Chungu and all the PF thugs….he doesn’t want any opposition…see him beaming with a huge smile every time he interacts with Bazungu…and watch his face when he interacts with fellow blacks….HH is sick in his head…and soon the Zambian youths will realize that they’ve been duped…used like shinda paper…still no jobs insight…food and fuel very expensive

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  27. People write without research. It has been like that for many years. Functions that are not allocated to any Ministry are allocated to the Vice President or the President’s Office. In any case, somebody have got to report to somebody.

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  28. If ACC can be put under state house the same thing can happen to ECZ . the independence of these institutions in a democratic country like Zambia is non negotiable

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  29. @ Da Javu
    If it was Edgar Lungu tomorrow Laura Miti Linda Kasonde and Pilato would have been on the streets protesting…double standards

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  30. These institutions have always been under the head of state through Gazette Notice No. 1123 of 2021 …State House please pull your socks and explain articulately to the people!!

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  31. flag Jigga Kayama Simangulungwa (formerly Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Honeybee)

    I agree 100% with the article. Bad move by HH. There are better ways to make these institutions truly independent than trying to bulldoze everything as an individual. This guy needs better advisers.
    I have said it previously that HH needed to relinquish some of the powers concentrated in individual, the president and not add to them.

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  32. The question is where is LAZ, the church, abena Linda Kasonde and Sangwa?
    So it’s only wrong when done by ECL? Bally is always right!
    Has someone heard of the word hypocrisy?
    By the way, I forgot about the united States embassy!

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  33. Sewerage is flowing again from the tr000l
    Isnt it he who should find a job
    One minute he talks about his brothers at LT
    The next minute calling them UPND St00ges
    Confused mind definitely

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  34. Read the Zambian constitution and understand where we are now regarding all instuitions formed by the acts of parliament since 1964

  35. Kapya Kaoma, please keep it up! I recall that when PF was in power, you maintained your critical stance and PF cadres used to call you a UPND stooge. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, you are being vilified as a PF stooge! To me, this just proves your objectivity.

  36. Excellent move by the presido, we voted for justice not mercy. A moribund institution that has failed to find owners of 48 houses needs close supervision. No more sacred cows in corruption fight. 2026, voters will deliver judgement based on how effective ACC will operate going forward. Corruption is a cancer that the presido promised to stamp out, now he has taken the bull by the horns. The ministers & public controlling officers now know the bar on corruption fight has been raised higher.

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  37. No much words on this move by our dear Bally, but i think it will BACKFIRE. And how will outsiders think of this move? He has crafted a very good name for himself but this one awe. ARHHHH JUST IN CASE THIS ACC ANIMAL BEGINS TO INVESTIGATE OLD PRIVATISATION ISSUES TOO…………..Kwishiba number uleteya.

  38. While ACC has had it’s independence, they have never prosecuted any serious crimes successfully and can not be left to continue in the same way. With the thugs regrouping, in addition to the looted accumulated hard cash the ACC and most of these bodies won’t be able to produce any results. The information leaks to PF is at another level. So far this move will make the looters take things seriously. The best the president can do to stop these leaks is to replace those heading intelligence, Secretary to the Cabinet, ZRA all all signatories for authorisation of payments, heads of parastals and clean up most of the institutions. He must remember that only very loyal people to Edgar where running the country, and most where cadres and not appointed on merit. He can’t expect these chaps to…

  39. @ Fonti you may be right. But could it be that all of us are corrupt except HH? the answer is emphatically No. He may actually be a more smart conman than most of us. HH cannot turn institutions of Govt as his own to decide their fate? This should NOT be allowed to happen under our watch.

  40. Accepting change to what one has been used to is a very trying and challenging experience! ACC is supposedly an independent institution but despite the Auditor Generals’ reports and other good governance bodies the ACC has not performed well. It’s not about where the office belongs but the output. In the ACC’s autonomous existence officers just became lazy and corrupt!

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