THE credibility of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to institute corruption investigations against Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba now when issues of corruption in the procurement of oil started way back before the contract was awarded to Trafigura, has been described as window dressing and an attempt at cover up by the ACC.
African Parliamentarian Network Against Corruption (APNAC) Zambia chairperson Cornelius Mweetwa said that it was shocking that ACC had now decided to investigate Mr. Kabimba on allegations of corruption that he received kickbacks from Trafigura, a company that was awarded tender to procure and deliver oil for Zambia, when the matter had been in the public forum for months.
And MMD Chembe Parliamentarian Mwansa Mbulakulima has described the investigations against Mr. Kabimba as blackmail to the Zambian people because this was aimed at disgracing Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba.
Commenting on revelations by ACC spokesperson Timothy Moono that the commission was investigating Mr. Kabimba and Mr. Mwamba over allegations of receiving kickbacks from Trafigura in the oil contract and soliciting for a contract to supply poles to Zesco, Mr. Mweetwa said that the investigation was mere window dressing aimed at clearing Mr. Kabimba.
He said it was shocking that ACC without any shame had allowed to be used by politicians to discredit each other.
“Issues of Trafigura and the corruption which marred the awarding of the tender were made bare a long time ago and we wonder why ACC did not institute these investigations then. ACC is also aware who the owner of Midlands Oil Company is and when the company was established. So as APNAC we have no confidence in these investigations because they are just meant for window dressing,” he said.
Mr. Mweetwa said that Mr. Kabimba was a senior government official, a Minister of Justice and for ACC to attempt to blindfold Zambians that they would investigate him was a sign of desperation to correct their past mistakes and failures.
He said no one in Zambia had faith that ACC would do a credible job especially after failing to effect previous court orders against some named people within the corridors of power.
“This is impossible; we can safely say that we have no confidence in these investigations because they lack transparency and credibility. ACC cannot do a good job, we know that. Therefore, we appeal to President Sata to commission an Inquiry to Investigate Mr. Kabimba and his involvement in these issues against him. ACC will just do a cover-up and no truth will be revealed.”
And Mr. Mbulakulima said allowing ACC to carry out the investigations against Senior Cabinet Ministers in the PF government was just another corruption rubber stamped to disadvantage people with little legal knowledge.
Mr. Mbulakulima said it was high time President Sata prevailed over the matter and suspend Mr. Kabimba before establishing a commission of inquiry to investigate both ministers.
“If this is a sensitive government let President Sata act accordingly because issues to do with corruption in the procurement of oil did not start last week but have been there from the time this company was mentioned to be part of the bid. Information was in the public domain that a senior PF official was involved but nothing was done to stop the corruption and now they want to hoodwink us that ACC have instituted investigations against Wynter Kabimba? That is nonsense and shameful statements coming from ACC,” he said.
He said ACC can never do a credible job because they were in a habit of hiding vital information which was helpful to the future of the country.
“Look at what happened during the ratification of the now Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito. Based on the inaccurate information and recommendations the ACC submitted to the select committee, Parliament ended up ratifying someone with unresolved issues with the law. Some of the issues are of a criminal nature and now we are found in a situation that compromises the justice system of the country to its core. Then how should we trust ACC to carry out unbiased investigations on Wynter especially that this seems to be a cartel aimed at protecting the corruption in government,” said Mr. Mbulakulima who is also a Member of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee.
He said that the people of Zambia no longer have confidence in the ACC, adding that investigating Mr. Kabimba while in office would be a cover to clear him of any corruption allegations.
Mr. Mbulakulima has since asked Mr. Kabimba who is also PF General Secretary to step aside for the sake of maintaining his credibility, adding that it was high time ACC redeemed itself from allegations of incompetency and political compromise.