Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Public Relations Manager Timothy Moono has appealed to civil servants to live within their means and earn their salaries honestly, adding that Zambians should not take the consequences of corruption lightly.
And Moono says the commission is yet to decide on whether to arrest President Edgar Lungu’s Special Assistant, Dr Simon Miti, who has been linked to Henry Kapoko’s theft of public servant and money laundering case.
On Thursday, the Lusaka Magistrates’ court sentenced former Ministry of Health Chief Human Resources Officer Henry Kapoko and four others to 18 years imprisonment with hard labour each, for theft of public servant and money laundering involving over K6.8 million.
This was after the Choma-based magistrate Exnorbit Zulu, who was sitting in Lusaka, ordered the arrest of President Edgar Lungu’s principal private secretary, Dr Simon Miti in the interest of justice to answer to corruption related charges brought out at the time he served as Ministry of Health permanent secretary.
Magistrate Zulu, had said that it was not too late to arrest Dr Miti and present him before court to also answer to the corruption-related charges.
“Dr Miti should answer to corruption charges because he was aware of what was transpiring in the Ministry although he feigned ignorance. Dr Miti was an accomplice, that was the reason why when the State brought him as a witness, he expressed ignorance on the happenings because he had an interest to serve,” he had said.
And speaking to journalists, Thursday, Moono applauded the prosecution team in Kapoko’s case, for a job well done.
“I wish to first of all applaud our prosecution team for a job well done. This case has indeed taken very long. Nine years is not a short time. We believe in the cause; fighting corruption, ensuring that justice is done. And today justice has been done. Zambian people should be happy that the money which was stolen is going to be returned to them,” he said.
Moono further appealed to Zambians to work very hard and not resort to shortcuts.
“I want to applaud his honour the magistrate for having made very strong pronouncements in his judgement. There’s a lot of lesson to learn that if we need to succeed, we need to work very hard. We don’t need to take shortcuts. We need to work very hard to achieve and be successful. Not to resort to stealing or money laundering or corruption,” he said.
And commenting on the magistrate’s pronouncements in relation to Dr Simon Miti, Moono said Dr Miti was not arrested because he was turned into a state witness.
“Dr Simon Miti was not arrested on simple reasons that if you have followed the case on a number of occasions, he was turned into a state witness. So he was a witness to give evidence on what was happening. So he could not be arrested,” he said.
Asked if he was going to be arrested following the court order, Moono said that was yet to be decided by the Commission.
“That is yet to be decided. The pronouncement has just come and so it is for the Commission now to sit down and see whether that is possible,” he said.
Moono said people should not take lightly the consequences of corruption.
“I will reiterate what his honour the magistrate said. People should not take lightly the effects of corruption. He gave very good examples of women that suffer when they go to hospitals because they find maybe there’s no medicine. We see schools that are being built, before completion the money is misused. We have so many examples that we can give. People have died because they don’t have access to ARVs. And so when you look at this whole case, the impact it had on the whole country was huge, the money involved was big. It was meant for very big programs. You will recall that most of that money was donor fund and eventually we had donors pull out as the result of that misuse of resources,” he said.
He appealed to civil servants to live within their means and earn their salaries honestly.
“It is an appeal to civil servants to live within their means. To accept that which they have been employed for and earn their salaries honestly. We need to be people that accept that it is possible to succeed without stealing. Honesty, integrity, should be one of those pillars in our lives,” he said.