Rainbow Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba says the confession by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) that it is does not understand why Zambians have stopped reporting cases before it calls for introspection within the Commission itself.
And Kabimba has challenged the ACC to come out in the open and say if the people involved in corruption are those working within government whom they think are too big and cannot be probed.
Commenting on the revelation by Acting ACC Director-General Rosemary Khuzwayo during the launch of the TIZ 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) on Tuesday, Kabimba told News Diggers! in an interview that he was glad that the ACC had finally confessed the loss of confidence in the institution by Zambians.
He said Khuzwayo’s confession was a great indictment on the ACC as an institution, and that the Commission must find out why Zambians had stopped reporting cases of corruption before it.
“Firstly, most of the corruption that Zambian people complain about is corruption, which is taking place in public institutions and in government. Secondly, they have seen in the past, people from government, from public institutions being charged with corruption and it’s either those cases are discontinued under a nolle or people get acquitted because of lack of competence in terms of ACC prosecuting those cases. So, if that confession has come from ACC, it is a great indictment on them as an institution and they must find out why Zambians have stopped going to them to report cases of corruption. One obvious answer is that the Zambian people have lost confidence in the Anti-Corruption Commission. They don’t see ACC as an organisation that can help the country fight corruption. You have heard many times Zambians complaining that ACC is dealing with cases of corruption of the ‘small fish,’ not the big fish! So, that is the only answer,” Kabimba said.
“I am glad that that observation is coming from ACC itself and if I were them, I would seriously sit down and interrogate that perception by the public of an institution, which is supposed to win the confidence of the Zambian people. Zambian people no longer believe that it is worth it to go and report cases of corruption. How many times have we heard President (Edgar) Lungu say to them: ‘can you investigate the reported cases of corruption as reflected in the Auditor General’s Report?’ And yet we have heard nothing in terms of proactive action from ACC in that area. So, if they are failing to investigate glaring reported cases because the cases that are reported by the Auditor General’s office, all that they need as evidence is for them to go to the Auditor General’s office to go and get the evidence and then they can get to the culprits. But they have failed to do that! So, all those are things that have made the Zambian people lose faith and trust in the ACC.”
Kabimba, a former Justice Minister, challenged the ACC to tell Zambians if the people involved in corruption were the very ones within government who were pretending to champion the fight against the scourge.
“ACC is a cornerstone of national development, it’s supposed to protect public financial resources. But unfortunately, it is not doing that. So, we want to see a competent Anti-Corruption Commission, we want to see an effective Anti-Corruption Commission, especially on matters that are reported by the Auditor General’s office. If you’ve been following the cases that have been going before the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), you still find glaring cases there; of misappropriation of funds and corruption. But nothing happens. it’s two years now, President Lungu has been saying to ACC: ‘can you follow up these matters’, even about three days ago, I remember him saying that. But if they are not doing their job well because the same politicians that are saying ‘investigate these matters’ are behind the cases telling them: ‘don’t investigate’, ACC must let us know. If not, then the buck stops at them, they are the ones who are not doing their job,” said Kabimba.