GBM not under probe – ACC

Former Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba is not under probe by the Anti-Corruption Commission, ACC public relations officer Timothy Moono has now revealed.

Responding to journalists who wanted to know whether ACC had instituted investigations against GBM after former defence deputy minister Davis Mwila made calls to have him probed, Moono said that the commission was not investigating Mwamba on any corruption related issue because they did not have any information against him of any wrong doing.

Moono said that the only information they had were media reports suggesting that he should be probed for abuse of office in the manner he was managing his business.

“I will respond to that question just now. We are not investigating him. We have not instituted investigations against the former defence minister. What we have so far is media reports suggesting that we should probe him. But we don’t act on media reports or any hearsay, we do that in a proper manner,” said Moono.

He also said that ACC had last year closed the investigations where they were probing Mwamba and Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba on allegations of corruption.

When asked to state the clear position of the previous investigations linking Kabimba to Trafigura and Mwamba to Zesco, Moono said that at no time did the commission state that they had cleared Kabimba or Mwamba of corruption investigations but had closed the investigations.

“I did not say that we had cleared them (GBM and Wynter Kabimba). I cannot remember using the word cleared them actually I don’t use that word. The position is that we have closed the investigations,” he said.

Meanwhile, Moono said that the Commission was determined to address corruption in government as witnessed by the probe on two former deputy ministers namely Ronald Chitotela and Rodgers Mwewa.

He also said that the commission had taken keen interest in the judgement passed by the High Court in relation to the electoral malpractices and corruption.

Moono said that the commission had continued to study the judgements particularly where parliamentary seats have been nullified on account of electoral corruption with a view to institute investigations.

“I wish to state that the commission instituted investigations into three cases and investigations are on-going. There is a school of thought that criminal matters under the Electoral Act are statute barred. The commission  is of the view that corruption offences in Zambia’s criminal justice system are not statute barred, and based on the ACC Act these offences are still pursuable and may be prosecuted before the courts of law depending on availability of evidence,” said Moono.

He also suggested that candidates whose elections have been nullified on grounds of electoral corruption should not be allowed to re-contest their seats for a period of five years as per provisions of the Act, saying this would act as a deterrent and ensure corruption free elections.

Moono also refuted claims that ACC was working under the directives from President Sata to investigate particular individuals saying the procedure was that if one of the ministers In government was being probed for corruption, the commission informs the appointing authority.

“It is just procedure that we inform the President but it is not legally binding, we just inform him, he doesn’t direct us,” claimed Moono.

But when asked if it was part of the law to inform the President, Moono said that it was not a law but procedure to have President Sata informed about what was happening to his ministers.