The Anti-Corruption Commission says it wants to ascertain whether the 42 fire trucks which were delivered indeed cost $42 million.

And the ACC says it has opened investigations into the purchase of ambulances at US$288,000 each.

Meanwhile, the ACC says the 2016 Auditor General’s report indicates that there is a serious problem with financial management and the commission has so far picked 20 cases to investigate.

At a media briefing today, ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono, who reiterated that the commission had investigated and cleared the tender process, said after massive outcry from the public, it had decided to reopen the matter in order to determine if the specifications of the fire trucks delivered matched those in the contract.

“Recently, there has also been a lot of public concern over the procurement of 42 Fire Tenders by government at a cost of 42 million US Dollars. The Commission has noted the calls from members of the public and other stakeholders for the matter to be investigated as the amount spent has been said to be exorbitant. As earlier stated, I wish to reiterate that the Commission in 2016 investigated this matter in accordance with its mandate to establish whether there was corruption regarding the manner in which the tender was awarded to the successful bidder. The investigations revealed that the tender procedures were followed in awarding of the tender in this issue,” Moono said.

“The major concern from members of the public is that the Fire Tenders that were delivered appear not to match with the cost. There are also still allegations that corruption may have played a part in the procurement process. The Commission is alive to these issues. The Commission has gathered information on the same and after evaluation, an exercise has since commenced to determine whether the specifications of the fire tenders as contained in the tender document tally with the specifications of the supplied fire tenders. Once this process is completed, the next course of action will be taken.”

And Moono said the ACC was investigating the purchase of ambulances at US$288,000 each, among other issues.

He also announced that Chishimba Kambwili, Saviour Chishimba and other high profile cases had been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.

“May I now proceed to give you a brief status of some of the cases which are of public interest and have been in public domain. 1. Alleged corruption against Former Minister of Information Hon. Chishimba Kambwili. Investigations have been concluded and the matter has been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for guidance. 2. Allegations of Corruption in the awarding of the contract for the construction of the Lusaka-Ndola Dual carriage way. The Commission is conducting an inquiry into this matter. 3. Allegations of mismanagement of funds at the National Youth Development Council (NYDC) involving UPP leader Saviour Chishimba. The investigations have been concluded and the case has been submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for consent to prosecute. 4. Investigations into alleged corruption involving unaccounted for funds at the Solwezi Municipal Council. Investigations into the matter were concluded, and the case was closed as there was no evidence of corruption,” he said.

“5. Alleged abuse of authority of office against the Chief Executive Officer at the Zambia Law Development Commission. Investigations in this matter have been concluded. The Commission is analyzing the information so far gathered before the next course of action is taken. 6. Alleged corruption in the manner Ministry of Health procured ambulances at a cost of US$288,000 per ambulance. The Commission has instituted investigations into this matter. 7. The Commission is also investigating a number of cases of suspected corruption arising from information from the Financial Intelligence Centre. The cases relate to suspicious transaction that may amount to payment of bribes to individuals and firms. Investigations are on-going in these cases. 8. The Commission has also been investigating cases of suspected fraud and corruption at the Ministry of Lands involving officials of a company contracted by the Ministry to design and develop a Land Management Database. Investigations have been concluded and have revealed glaring tampering and altering of information on the system. The Commission will soon be taking the next course of action.”

Meanwhile, Moono said the commission had picked 20 cases from the 2016 Auditor General’s report to investigate.

“The recent revelations in the 2016 Auditor-General’s Report of financial mismanagement in the public sector is of great concern to the Commission. The increase in misapplication of funds from about K28 million in 2015 to about K162 million Kwacha in 2016 is a serious indication that there is a problem with financial management systems. The increase in unaccounted for funds from about K190,000 in 2015 to about K380,000 in 2016 is also of serious concern. There must be a deliberate initiative to strengthen financial management systems in the public sector so as to close up opportunities for leakages of public funds. The Commission is therefore elated with the assurance made by the Secretary to the Treasury Mr Fredson Yamba that there is a processing in offing that will deal with these financial loopholes in the public sector,” said Moono.

“I wish to also state that the Commission is already studying the 2016 Auditor-General’s Report and the Commission has picked a total of 20 cases that relate to its mandate. This follows a collaborative meeting with the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) at which the DEC also selected some cases for investigation. These cases will be pursued to their logical conclusion.”