ACTIONAID Zambia country director Nalucha Ziba has demanded that Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Chief Executive Officer Mateyo Kaluba be placed on leave to pave way for independent investigations.
On Tuesday, ACC announced that it had arrested Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Chief Executive Officer Mateyo Kaluba for abuse of authority of office involving a Mukula transaction.
In an interview, Ziba said it would be ideal for Kaluba was placed on leave to allow investigations be carried out without any influence.
“Our position is that we need to allow for independent investigations that are not influenced by unknown powers. Therefore, our feeling is that if somebody is under investigation and happens to get be the CEO of such a company, it would have been ideal if they have been placed on leave to allow for investigations to be carried out in an independent manner without any influence,” Ziba said.
“However, we are also alive to the fact that the law provides that you are innocent until proven guilty. We also should look at it in a way that it could also be used maliciously to start to kick people out of offices. Therefore, we ought to be very careful in terms of how we handle such cases.”
Ziba noted that Zambians wanted to see corruption cases reaching logical conclusions.
“Our recommendation is that he should be placed on leave to allow for investigations to be concluded and there has to be a time frame attached so as to avoid the matter going on in perpetuity as we have witnessed in the past where we have had such type of cases. We hope that there will be a coherent strategy that is used in the fight against corruption as opposed to the haphazardness that we are witnessing currently,” said Ziba.
“We are also of the view that there are a lot of cases as highlighted in the Auditor General’s report and the Financial Intelligence Centre reports where even seemingly evidence has been provided. As Zambians, we are desirable to see how those cases will be concluded and be at a logical conclusion within the ambits of the justice system. In this case, we need to ensure that considerations are made for an independent investigation that is seemingly carried out without influence and procedures are followed whilst respecting the rights of the accused as well.”
Addressing journalists, Tuesday, ACC spokesperson Queen Chibwe said on dates unknown but between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, Kaluba, jointly and whilst acting together with persons unknown did abuse the authority of his office by directing the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) to enter into the contract of sale, dated June 16, 2021, with Dungguan Baichan Trading Company Limited.
“The Anti-Corruption Commission has arrested Industrial Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer for abuse of authority of office. Mr Mateyo Kaluba aged 46, of plot number 41830/M in Lilayi off Shantumbu Road in Lusaka has been arrested and charged with abuse of authority of office contrary to section 21(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012 of the Laws of Zambia,” said Chibwe.
“Particulars of the offence are that on dates unknown but between 1st March 2020 and 31st March 2021, Mateyo Kaluba, jointly and whilst acting together with persons unknown did abuse the authority of his office by arbitrarily directing Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) PLC to enter into the contract of sale, dated 16th June 2021, between ZAFFICO and Dungguan Baichan Trading Company Ltd., in relation to Mukula tree logs without following procurement procedures.”