The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says it has made tremendous progress in investigating six of the over 600 financial crimes cases cited in the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) trends report.

And the ACC says the Integrity Committee programme remains a promising strategy of increasing efficiency in service delivery, preventing maladministration and other corrupt vices in public and private institutions.

In an interview, ACC Public Relations Manager Timothy Moono said investigations into cases from the FIC report would be concluded soon.

“On the FIC report, there are six cases that the Commission is investigating. And right now, the status is that we have made significant progress on all of them. Each of the cases is at a different level because they are separate cases of course and their complexities are different. But in general, we have made significant progress on all of them and we are hoping that as soon as possible, we do conclude these cases. We know that they are topical and you are making follow ups on them, the public wants to know, so we are alive to those concerns and so we want to finish them in the quickest possible time. Although the specific timing is difficult to state but it shouldn’t take us… I should safely say in the next few months we must be able to conclude and by our next third quarter briefing, we should be able to give you a fresh position on whether we have concluded on some of them and so on,” Moono said.

And Moono said the introduction of integrity committees had boosted the fight against corruption despite the initiative facing various challenges in the implementation process.

“The integrity committees are a very important tool and a number of them are yielding a lot of positive results. We have seen a lot of changes in the operation of most of these [government] institutions. And already those that have been cited in the 2017 Zambia Bribe Payers Index (ZBPI) survey report and several others which have been cited elsewhere like for instance the Public Service Pensions Fund, the integrity committee there is doing a tremendous job. ZRA integrity committee is performing, ZESCO… so we have a number of institutions that have really given an example of how an integrity committee should function and coupled to that, it’s the fact that management of most of these institutions have really embraced integrity committees programme as part and parcel of their institution functions,” said Moono.

“So management want to curtail corruption in those institutions, they have embraced the programme and they are giving a lot of emphasis to the success of the programme. So we have really seen successes in those committees. In some institutions yes we have seen that they’ve not been performing that well and we have been talking to them to see how best we could resolve their challenges. And some of the changes with the integrity committees are that members of the integrity committees, being officers are transfered maybe to other departments or out of station to another Province. So you find that maybe in a year to have a full compliment of the integrity committee to function becomes a challenge because you find new faces all the time. So we want to see how best that can be resolved so that if possible, integrity committee members should be available to perform functions for maybe a periosd of two years and we see change. Because if they keep being transfered, we will not achieve anything.”