The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has arrested eighteen individuals in connection with a financial scandal at the Ministry of Finance (MOF). The investigation centers on payments made for fictitious activities and the alleged theft of public funds.
According to Timothy Moono, Head of Corporate Communications for the ACC, “the Commission wishes to clarify that some individuals have voluntarily offered to pay back the funds they illegally received. This is provided for under Section 80 of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012.” Moono added, “The Commission is not targeting any particular individual at the MOF. The investigations are purely professional and based on information about alleged abuse of office and theft of public funds perpetrated by named individuals.”
The arrest of high-ranking officials, including the Auditor-General, Dr. Dick Sichembe, and Former Secretary to the Treasury, Fredson Yamba, has sent shockwaves throughout the country. Kennedy Musonda, the Accountant General, was also arrested in connection with the scandal.
The ACC has urged the public to remain calm and trust in the impartiality of the investigation. In a statement, the Commission said, “We would like to reassure the public that the Commission is conducting its investigations in a fair and impartial manner, and we will not be deterred in our efforts to fight corruption.”
The investigation into the MOF scandal is ongoing, and more details are expected to emerge as the case progresses. The ACC has urged anyone with information about this or any other corruption case to come forward and report it.
The government has stated its commitment to fighting corruption and ensuring that public funds are used for their intended purpose. President Hakainde Hichilema, who was elected in August 2021, has made it a priority to tackle corruption in Zambia. In a recent speech, he said, “We will not tolerate corruption in any form. Those who engage in corrupt practices will face the full force of the law.”