The Police, Anti-Corruption Commission(ACC) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) should quickly arrest and prosecute all former Zambia Railways Limited board members for illegally paying themselves hefty sitting allowances through unplanned and unbudgeted meetings, says UPND vice president for Administration Richard Kapita
And President Michael Sata has suspended ZRL chief executive officer Professor Clive Chirwa pending investigations by ACC on allegations of corruption levelled against him by the dissolved board.
In an interview Mr. Kapita said that it was extravagant for the Mark Chona led board to abuse and misapply the funds by paying themselves huge sitting allowances for merely meeting ministers and permanent secretaries.
He said government investigative wings should not waste time probing the matter because evidence was already there, adding that those that had soiled hands should pay for their sins.
Mr. Kapita said that the revelations that the board paid itself huge amounts of money in sitting allowances’ amounting to over K426 million in the last three months was totally criminal and an abuse of office.
“How do you steal like that? That is total theft of the highest order. These people should be prosecuted and we call upon the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and Zambia Police (ZP) to do a thorough job,” he said.
He said that it was disappointing that at a time when Zambians were struggling and suffering due to high levels of poverty, some people were involved in illegal activities.
In his letter to Prof. Chirwa dated April 22, 2013, President Sata confirmed that he had suspended Prof Chirwa due to several corruption allegations levelled against him.
” I am suspending you from duty and you will be on half pay; and as part of other conditions you will have to vacate the lodge and wait in the Zambia Railways Limited accommodation until the matter is completed,” reads President Sata’s letter in part.
“By copy of this letter the Anti-corruption Commission has been instructed to carry out full investigations concerning the allegations of corruption.”
And President Sata has with immediate effect appointed Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications permanent secretary Dr Muyenga Atanga to take charge of Zambia Railways Limited.
“This will require you to take charge of the Rail Line including the Inter Mine Rail, which is so critical to the running of the mining sector,” directed Mr Sata.
He said the PF Government reiterates its commitment to revamping the railway network that results in a rail system which will create the necessary economic drive.