Former Attorney General Musa Mwenye says the magical ‘disappearance’ of the property developer who owns the 48 houses seized by the Anti Corruption Commission is the most bizarre criminal investigation since the time of Adamson Mushala.
On Sunday, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) acting Director General Rosemary Nkonde Khuzwayo told ZNBC that the Commission had closed the case against a Ministry of Finance official who allegedly owned 48 housing units recently forfeited to the State on grounds that the matter lacked evidence linking him to the said properties.
Khuzwayo said the suspect whose names were linked to the property denied ownership, saying someone had just used his NRC, thereby leaving the ACC with no case to take to court.
“When we became aware of that gentleman, the one we thought was the owner of the flats, investigations were directed at him. But in the course of the investigations, it was clear that those flats were not in his name. The person in whose names those properties were in, when interviewed, he disowned the properties, he said they were not his. For me who is a lawyer and a prosecutor, I am asking myself, if we took him to court, there is nothing in his name and he refuses ownership, so how would we prove that those things were ever his? And the person in whose names those flats were denied ever knowing about them, what he explained was that someone asked for his NRC copy; he gave them and the next thing he knows is that ACC is on his case because some properties in Lusaka are in his name,” said Khuzwayo adding that the case had since been closed.
But in a statement, Mwenye who served under Michael Sata’s Patriotic Front as Solicitor General and Attorney General, said he was even more intrigued by the quick manner in which the Anti Corruption Commission had decided to close the case.
“Not since the infamous activities of Adamson Mushala, the Lusaka Strangler or Nevers Spoiler Kapenda have we had a criminal investigation as bizarre and intriguing as the magical disappearance of the proprietor of 48 flats. More intriguing is how quickly the investigation has been closed,” Mwenye State Counsel said.
“It is intriguing because 48 properties, if all occupied by an average family of 3, translates to a community of at least 144 people who all had, until recently, a landlord. The properties must have been constructed or purchased at some point in the recent past and there must therefore be a contractor who built them or a seller who sold them. And I am just mentioning a few. It appears all those several people cannot identify this mysterious owner. And the investigation has been closed conclusively, we are told.”
Mwenye, however, gave the ACC a benefit of the doubt, saying the onus was now on the Commission to explain how they were outsmarted by the property owner.
“If not intrigued, I am at least curious to hear more from the Anti Corruption Commission on how this clever individual has out smarted our law enforcement officers in the most magical of ways. For now, we give them the benefit of doubt,” stated Mwenye.