Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) officers who were tasked to probe corruption allegations against Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba have been threatened with demotions and transfers for leaking information to the media on the abrupt end of the trafigura investigations.
Some of the officers were asked to go on leave but when it became too obvious this was stopped, it has been recalled.
The development has thrown panic and fear into the concerned officers who are now not sure about their future in ACC and do not know what to do.
ACC officials told the Daily Nation that officers who were tasked to investigate Mr. Kabimba’s connection with Trafigura, an international oil marketing company, have been accused of leaking information concerning the premature termination of the investigations and have been warned of demotions and transfers.
“Some of our colleagues were told that they would be transferred to the Immigration department as they were accused of having leaked information to the media. They accused us of telling you things about the investigations of Mr. Kabimba which we did not do,” said the official.
The officials said that it was just a matter of time some of them would be transferred in order to bring in people of their choice to handle sensitive matters that involved Patriotic Front (PF) officials,.
The officials said that operational ACC officers were ready and willing to investigate corruption allegations involving senior Patriotic Front (PF) officials, “actually we had started following up issues of land where some senior PF officials are allegedly selling land but the investigations failed out leading to rampant land grabbing in Lusaka.
“If you remember a few months ago Finance Deputy Minister Miles Sampa accused the Lusaka City Council Mayor of corruption in the allocation of land but we stopped the investigations because people who were involved are highly connected.”
The officials also said that the ACC was ready to investigate all corruption allegations involving the PF officials and ministers but that there was too much interference from the appointing authority.
“We cannot carry out these investigations in the manner we want as a commission; we are failing because there is too much pressure and you know that we need to keep our jobs. It is difficult to continue carrying out investigations because they will either put you on leave or transfer you,” he said.
The officials said that some senior PF officials had even obtained video footage of both government and private media house reporters suspected of befriending ACC officers.
“They have been instructed to do that (get video footage) of journalists they suspect to be friending the commission and this matter is serious. That is why it is very difficult for some of you to talk to these people at ACC because they are scared of being accused of working with ‘opposition’ media,” said the officials.
The officials also revealed that ACC Director General Rosewin Wandi was under pressure to clean the institution’s dwindling credibility because of the allegations of it being compromised and corrupt.
The officials said that ACC had become an institution which could no longer be trusted, “actually these are the issues that we discuss in our daily briefings that the people of Zambia have lost confidence in the institution because of political pressure. We have become a moribund.”