Corruption and abuse of office among councilors and officers at the Lusaka City Council must be investigated in order to restore the lost confidence in the operations of the local authority, opposition UPND vice president for administration Richard Kapita has said.
But an official at the council has revealed that a senior Minister in the PF government stopped ACC from investigating corruption involving councilors who awarded themselves contracts by opting to resolve the matter administratively.
The official said that it was shocking that despite making all necessary documents available, ACC snubbed the investigations.
“We were just told that ACC will not investigate the matter because it was a scandal and that the council would resolve the matter administratively. This shocked us because the council had lost a lot of money and we wanted that money back,” said the official.
The official said that some people within the council were busy shielding councilors against being probed and prosecution for abuse of office and corruption.
“That is why even at the time when we went for mayoral elections, some of us were expunged from contesting because they knew that we shall push ACC to investigate the matter which was reported last year. Actually that matter was even brought up in parliament, so it is of public interest,” said the official.
But Mr. Kapita has challenged the ACC to explain to the nation why it has failed to institute investigations in the allegations of corruption and abuse of office by some councilors at the Council where some civic leaders have been accused of forming companies and were awarding themselves contracts.Mr. Kapita said that he was saddened over the reports of the local authority going bankrupt.He said that there was need for the ACC to explain whether reports of corruption, abuse of office and inside dealings such as awarding of contracts among workers and councilors had contributed to the local authority running bankrupt.
“There were reports suggesting that some councilors were awarding themselves contracts for road construction or re-graveling of roads in compounds without following normal procedures.
“Some were awarding themselves contracts to supply stationery to the council and are inflating figures and what we waited for was to see ACC investigate these matters and inform the nation about their findings but up to now there is silence,” said Mr. Kapita.
Mr. Kapita observed that the culture of shielding crime by ACC was highly shocking, adding that the agency had become more corrupt than any other institution in Zambia.