THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says it has concluded the investigation involving 51 houses and has submitted the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
And the ACC says investigations involving the Ministry of Health over the irregularities in the awarding of a US $17 million tender to Honeybee Pharmacy Limited have reached an advanced stage.
Meanwhile, the Commission has revealed that the Commission has instituted investigations into UPND president Hakainde Hichilema’s involvement in the privatisation of State-owned assets, with a statement already delivered by the leader.
Speaking during a press briefing in Lusaka, Friday morning, ACC assistant public relations manager Dorothy Mwanza announced that it had concluded the investigation involving the 51 houses and had since submitted the case to the DPP.
She added that despite some named individuals contesting the seizure and forfeiture of named properties, the Commission would defend its position that the 51 houses remain in the hands of the State.
“Investigations involving 51 houses; the Commission has concluded investigations against named individuals for being in possession of properties reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime. The properties in question involve 51 houses located in Lusaka’s Chalala area. The case has since been submitted to the DPP for possible prosecution. As you may be aware, the named houses were seized and forfeited to the State. However, some named individuals have contested the seizure and forfeiture of the named properties. The Commission will aggressively defend its position for the 51 houses to remain in the hands of the State,” Mwanza said.
“Investigations into suspected irregularities in the tendering process in the manner the contract for construction of Beit Stadium in Chipata was awarded; investigations have been concluded and what has been established is that the stadium was not sold or leased to any individual or entity. The evidence gathered is not sufficient for the Commission to prosecute the matter. The Commission has since written to Chipata Municipal Council that if need be, the tender to lease the stadium be re-advertised to ensure procurement procedures are strictly followed.”
And Mwanza disclosed that investigations in the awarding of a tender to Honeybee Pharmacy by the Ministry of Health had reached an advanced stage.
“Allegations of corruption involving the Ministry of Health regarding alleged irregularities in the awarding of a tender to Honeybee Pharmaceuticals: Investigations in this matter are ongoing and have reached an advanced stage. So far, the Commission has warned and cautioned the former permanent secretary for Administration Ms Akakulubelwa Mulalelo. The Commission will soon submit the docket to the National Prosecutions Authority for further action. Alleged corruption involving the Ministry of Health regarding mismanagement of COVID-19 donations: the Commission has been investigating the matter, and investigations have reached an advanced stage,” Mwanza said.
“Alleged corruption in the recruitment, promotion and transfer of teachers involving the Teaching Service Commission: the Commission instituted investigations into the above allegations and the investigations are ongoing. Investigations into suspected corruption in the manner some named councillors from Lusaka and Kitwe City Councils were involved in illegal land allocation: investigations into the above matter are ongoing.”
Meanwhile, she revealed that the Commission had instituted investigations into Hichilema’s involvement in the privatisation of State-owned assets.
“Investigations involving the privatisation of State-owned assets: the Commission has been investigating matters relating to the privatisation process and has since recorded a statement from United Party for National Development leader Hakainde Hichilema,” she disclosed.
“Investigations into alleged corruption in the manner the Ministry of Health procured ambulances at a cost of US $288,000 per ambulance: Investigations into this matter have been concluded and the case will be submitted to the Legal and Prosecutions Department. Alleged corrupt offering and giving of K1 million cash gratification to a Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) officer by a Mr Samboko of Opermin Zambia Limited as an inducement to overlook tax liabilities amounting to K69 million by Opermin Zambia Limited: the investigations have been concluded and the case has been referred to the Legal and Prosecutions Department for legal opinion.”
She added that the Commission commenced investigations into five cases from the Auditor-General’s report.
“Cases from the Auditor-General’s Reports: In 2018, the Commission picked 10 cases from the Auditor-General’s report. Two of these were concluded and the allegations were not proven, while investigations are ongoing in the other eight cases. In 2019, seven cases were picked for investigations, which are still ongoing and are at various stages of investigation. In 2020, the Commission commenced investigations into five cases from the Auditor-General’s report. These are ongoing. Arising from these investigations, a number of assets have been seized and forfeited to the State. Between 2018 and 2020, a total of K63,742,199 has been recovered from cases arising from the Auditor-General’s reports. Also, remedial action has been taken in some cases, including the suspension and firing of erring officials,” Mwanza said.
She further said that the Commission received a total of 539 reports of suspected corruption, adding that the Commission concluded a total of 74 investigation cases last year.
“During the year, 2020, the Commission received a total of 539 reports of suspected corruption. Out of these reports received, a total of 286 were non-corruption-related. Therefore, advice was subsequently provided to all those that brought these reports on how best to pursue the matters complained of as they were outside the Commission’s mandate. Further, of the 539 cases received, 253 reports contained elements of corruption and 182 reports were authorised for investigations, while three were recommended for corruption prevention interventions. The 68 reports not authorised for investigations did not have sufficient details of any corruption offence to warrant investigations to be conducted. Therefore, they were subsequently referred to relevant institutions for appropriate remedial action. The complainants in these matters were also advised accordingly,” Mwanza said.
“During the year, 2020, the Commission continued investigations into the authorised reports for investigations, including those carried forward from the previous year with prioritisation of high-profile cases. The Commission concluded a total of 74 investigation cases in 2020. In the same period, the Commission made 22 arrests. At the close of the year, there were a total of 913 cases under investigations carried forward to this year. Meanwhile, in 2019, the Commission had received 745 cases of suspected corruption and investigated 202 corruption cases. 38 arrests were recorded that year. In 2018, the Commission received 980 cases of suspected corruption, and investigated 235. 19 arrests were made that year.”
Mwanza also said that the Commission concluded 20 cases last year, but with only 12 resulting in convictions, representing a conviction rate of 60 per cent.
“At the close of 2020, the Commission under the Legal and Prosecutions Department had a total number of 78 active cases in court comprising of 71 criminal cases and seven civil cases. The Commission concluded 20 cases in 2020 with 12 resulting in convictions, and eight in acquittals. This represents a conviction rate of 60 per cent. Six cases are pending appeal and seven cases, pending delivery of judgement. Meanwhile, in 2019, there were 88 active prosecution cases, and 27 cases were concluded,” said Mwanza.
“18 convictions were recorded, with nine acquittals, representing a conviction rate of 66 per cent. In 2018, the Commission had a total of 110 active cases under prosecution by close of the year, with 37 being concluded resulting in 25 convictions and 12 acquittals. This represented a conviction rate of 67.5 per cent. Over the last three years, the Commission has maintained a conviction rate of over 60 per cent, which is an indication of progress in the fight against corruption. The Commission will endeavour to raise the conviction rate even higher in 2021 and beyond.”