Anti-Corruption Commission Director General Kapetwa Phiri says heads of institutions are responsible for disciplining and sanctioning corrupt officers.

According to a statement issued by TIZ head of communication Charles Chulu, Thursday, Phiri was speaking when he met TIZ executive director Wesley Chibamba.

Phiri lamented, during the meeting, that Zambians unduly put pressure on ACC to do something about various corruption scandals, instead of pressuring various departmental heads.

“Mr. Phiri also lamented the lack of activism against corruption among the citizens and their propensity to blame the commission for everything that goes wrong. For example, when people are cited in the auditor general’s report or an institution mentioned in the Zambia Bribe Payers Index, people put pressure on the ACC to do something about it rather than mounting pressure on the Officials presiding over those institutions to do something about their corrupt officers and the corruption situation. The heads of these institutions are responsible for their officers, they have the responsibility to ensure their officers conduct themselves appropriately, sanction/discipline them if they are not,” Chulu stated.

“If traffic police is notorious for corruption, pressure should be on the Inspector General of police to clean house. He said fighting corruption is not the preserve of the ACC or TI-Z alone, everyone has a responsibility to fight corruption and if everyone got involved we would begin wining the fight against corruption. He acknowledged the deficiencies in our current legislative provisions around gifts and donations and informed TI-Z that the Commission is already working pro-actively to strengthen the systems around this and many other issues. He specifically stated that the commission already drafted a Statutory Instrument to strengthen regulations surrounding declarations of asserts and gifts received by public officers. It is envisaged that this will be operationalised very soon. Mr. Phiri emphasized that the S.I may not be applied retrospectively but is a very good move going forward.”

Phiri assured TIZ that ACC was working tirelessly to expedite processes relating to the commission.

“The ACC Director General, Mr. Kapetwa Phiri assured TI-Z that the formulation of the new National Anti- Corruption Policy was progressing very well and everything was on schedule.
In his comments the ACC Director General Mr. Kapetwa Phiri says his commission is working tirelessly to ensure that concern the commission are dealt with in the quickest possible time. He highlighted the challenges that the commission is facing on certain concerns. For example the commission has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) which speaks to collaboration between the two oversight bodies. As per MOU, the OAG is supposed to report suspected corruption cases as they are investigating or conducting their audits which gives the ACC amour time to investigate while the evidence is still available, as opposed to the commission only knowing about these cases along with everyone else when the report is published. Those cited would have been fore warned, evidence destroyed, key witnesses transferred, some may even have died,” Chulu stated.

“The ACC Director General further stressed that there is need to strengthen the whistle blowers which in its current state has some weaknesses and that the commission is working on this angle as well. The ACC reaffirmed its commitment to the fight against corruption and has assured TI-Z and the nation that it is working on a lot of cases but crimes involving corruption take time and providing concrete evidence can assist the commission to successfully conclude cases on time. Considering that ACC and TI-Z are always dealing with issues that are highly sensitive, other details and issues that were discussed remain confidential.”

Chulu disclosed other issues which were raised during the meeting.

“The issues for discussion that Transparency International Zambia raised included: the progress on the National Anti-Corruption Policy; the recent revelation that offered a generous gift of land to President Edgar Lungu by the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland); the Global Fund Investigative Audit report on Ministry of Health; the findings of the three (3) Auditor General’s reports, namely; the 2016 Auditor General’s report on Ministries, Provinces and Spending Agencies (MPSAs), The Auditor General’s Report on Parastatals 2016 and The Auditor General’s report on Local Authorities; as well as implementation of the Public Interest Disclosure Act (Whistle Blowers Act),” stated Chulu.