The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says it cannot investigate Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito for corruptly entering two nolle prosequi in criminal matters in favour of Finance a Zambia Limited Chairman Rajan Mahtani in apparent exchange for the US$4.2 million debt he owed the Bank.
ACC spokesperson told journalists that the commission could not investigate Mr. Nchito because the issues of corruption were not within their mandate.
The allegations, he said, were beyond the scope of the ACC. The commission has now written to the complainant Brebner Changala advising him accordingly.
“I cannot disclose what we wrote to Mr. Changala but I can only say we asked him to seek other avenues for redress. Investigating Nchito is not like investigating you Changwe, there is a procedure that needs to be followed and that is why we are saying that it is not within our mandate to start investigating Mr. Nchito,” said Mr. Moono.
And MMD Information and Publicity Secretary Alfred Ndhlovu said that it was unprofessional for ACC to fail to investigate anybody for corruption because the law assign them that mandate.
On 4th April, 2013 Mr. Changala gave the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) a seven days ultimatum to institute investigations against Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mutembo Nchito failure to which he would seek judicial review.
In his letter, addressed to ACC Director General Rosewin Wandi, Mr. Changala said that his intention was to seek judicial review in order to compel the commission to start investigations for the purpose of prosecuting Mr. Nchito for corruption and abuse of office.
Mr. Changala contended that Mr. Nchito as DPP and Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Zambian Airways issued two nolle prosequi to his creditor Finance Bank Zambia Limited owner Rajan Mahtani in exchange for the discontinuation of a legal suit and ultimately forbearance of overdraft facility involving US$4.2 million.
But ACC yesterday said instituting investigations in Mr. Nchito corruption and abuse of office allegations was not within its mandate.
Asked whether ACC was playing double standards in the manner they were addressing issues of corruption involving high profile officials in government, Mr. Moono contended that the institution operated independently.
He said the Commission has advised Mr. Changala to seek other avenues for redress saying the matter he raised against Mr. Nchito fall beyond the mandate of the ACC.
And the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) failed to state the exact dates and day they cleared Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba of corruption allegations where he was accused to have received kickbacks from Trafigura US$ 500 million oil deal.
Mr. Moono said that the commission dropped corruption investigations against Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba and his Defence counterpart Geoffrey Mwamba because they failed to find anything to substantiate the allegations.
He said that the investigations against the two cabinet ministers have since been closed, adding that the commission interviewed both Ministers and that the Commission failed to find evidence to substantiate the allegations against Mr. Kabimba and Mr. Mwamba.
“We would like to inform the nation that the investigations against the two cabinet Ministers were discontinued because the allegations were not substantiated. We interviewed the two Ministers here at ACC and we also spoke to a number of witnesses but there was no evidence so we dropped the investigations.”
Pressed further on whether the directive from President Michael Sata that the ACC should seek clearance from him before it commences any investigations against his ministers and senior PF officials, Mr. Moono said the ACC had the mandate to investigate corruption allegations without fear and favour.
And asked how independent they were in their investigations when they have failed to state when exactly they carried out the probe, Mr. Moono said that, “There was no undue influence from any quarter, our people did a professional job and the outcome showed that there was no evidence to link the two Ministers.”
Asked further about Mr. Kabimba admitting that a bribe was offered to him by Dalbit Marketing Oil Company, Mr. Moono insisted that the investigations did not produce any evidence or elements of corruption.