Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

20 February 2013

Zambia: ACC Is Now a Branch of PF - Zambian Voice

The Zambian Voice has accused the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of being a branch of the PF after clearing justice minister Wynter Kabimba and defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba of corruption.

Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali said he had called the ACC to confirm media reports on clearing the two ministers from corruption allegations but that the ACC failed to commit themselves to an affirmative response or rebut the media reports.

Tayali said the ACC has duped the Zambian people rendering itself almost irrelevant as an institution which is supposed to fight corruption because the case was so fresh and alive in the minds of people who have publicly followed.

"The ACC has shown that it is toothless, irrelevant and useless in the fight against corruption. It is now clear that they are dancing to the tune of the PF government and not the Zambia people. They are there to protect the PF culprits. We are saying this because as Zambia Voice, we had earlier asked them to give us a position on corruption allegations against Wynter Kabimba and Geoffrey Mwamba but they touched our eyes to send us to sleep by responding that they will update the nation when they are done with investigations."

"So we were surprised to see media reports that the two ministers have been cleared of the corruption allegations just a few days after we met them over the same case and they were assuring us that it is still active. When we saw the media reports today, we phoned them whether what we had seen was speculation or it is the official position. To our surprise they could neither confirm nor deny. It has now become clear to us that the media reports were substantive and they are now failing to give confidence to the Zambian people that they are serious about fighting corruption. If media reports were lying, they could have rebutted the stories but instead they decided not to commit themselves to any response that could distance themselves from the reports."

Tayali said the Zambian Voice was very disappointed because these allegations were started by the two ministers themselves and that such senior government officials do not talk without proof.

"The Justice Minister is one of the chief investigator in this country while the defence minister is a top intelligence officer from within and abroad. So how can they fabricate allegations against each other? We also know that ACC does not summon people anyhow unless there is a serious case to investigate. That is why they summoned the two ministers and we saw how Kabimba went into tantrums and how he went on to defend himself everywhere when these allegations were raised. This meant that he had something to cover up like the Bembas say akanwa kamilandu kalaibala (an accused person usually implicates himself/herself).Kabimba was talking too much about it because he had no peace of mind. When he went to the ACC, we saw his conduct and the sense of guilty by going with a mob of cadres to intimidate the ACC officers."

"Later on, we saw how the President, because he is so allergic to corruption, he said senior members of government should not be investigated without his consent. It appears the ACC, Kabimba and Mwamba have cured his allergy. Kabimba cured the President's allergy by dinning with him on the same table of Don't Kubeba. So there is a clear interference and the ACC has succumbed to the excessive pressure from the executive by letting the case go. It is not clear as to us why Kabimba and Mwamba have been cleared but it seems the ACC is now a branch of PF clearing agents for all those who are alleged to be corrupt so that they can go back and loot again."

Tayali has vowed that his organization will not allow this to continue n out country and that they will make sure the case is conclusively dealt with whether the President or indeed ACC likes it or not because the truth is larger than any individual or institution.

He said no matter how powerful somebody is, they cannot be larger than the truth.

"As the saying goes, the truth has longer legs than lies."

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