The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says it is unaware of corruption allegations at the Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), an organisation that received USD 200 million from the huge Chinese loans accrued by government, for setting up malfunctional solar milling plants across the country.
ACC head of corporate communications Timothy Moono, said during the routine quarterly media briefing in Lusaka that the “Commission does not have eyes everywhere” and that help from citizens is required to deal with corruption.
“When you have information, bring it to our attention, sometimes we don’t have eyes everywhere, like online, to see what everyone is doing,” said Moono as he responded to a question from MakanDay journalist who wanted to know whether the ACC has paid attention to allegations of corruption at ZCF.
Before responding to the question, Moono asked whether the issue was reported to the Commission or it was just a news item.
In February 2022, a MackanDay investigation revealed that the ZCF a cooperative of over three million members, most of them poor workers has been secretly taken over by private interests, including wealthy members of the Zambian elite and non-Zambians.
Moono said during the third quarter, the Commission received 181 reports of suspected corruption, and 180of the cases were authorised for investigations.
He said as of 30 November 2022, over 1,260 cases are under investigations, 108 cases had been concluded and 29 arrests, mostly members of the former Patriotic Front (PF) ruling party, have been arrested across the country.
Those arrested on allegations of corruption include, former President Edgar Lungu’s special assistant for economy Hibeene Mwiinga, former tourism minister Ronald Chitotela, and former ministers of justice and home affairs Given Lubinda and Stephen Kampyongo respectively. Others are former ministry of defence permanent secretary Stardy Mwale and his counterpart at the ministry of health Kakulubelwa Mulalelo.
Moono also said the Commission “restricted” US$ 216,000 wired to Chief Nkana and US$ US$ 3,474,150.00 for Savenda Systems Limited which was about to be moved from a local account.
He further said the Commission is more determined now than ever before and is encouraged with the positive sentiments from citizens on the current anti-corruption fight.
“The eyes of the Commission are watching and more alert on what is happening and ready to pounce on perpetrators of corrupt practices,” he said.
Quarterly briefings are used to update Zambians on progress that the Commission is making in the fight against corruption.