Zambia’s graft agency institutes probe of high government officials

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Corruption
Corruption

Zambia’s corruption agency said on Wednesday that it has instituted investigations into corruption allegations against some senior officials in the previous government.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) said it has received 87 reports of suspected cases of corruption since last month’s general elections, with 55 of the cases related to politically connected high officials in the former government.

Queen Chibwe, the agency’s spokesperson said the reports were not strange as this usually happens after elections and especially if there was change of government.

She however told reporters during a press briefing that successful prosecution of the cases will depend on the full information the people who have reported the cases will provide.

Among the high-profile cases involve senior officials at the health ministry who were being investigated for allegedly awarding contracts for the purchase of COVID-19 equipment to businessmen without following procedure and investigations of a senior public official at a government institution involved in the alleged purchase of 12 motor vehicles used for campaigns in last month’s elections.

The spokesperson said the agency was also investigating a matter involving an alleged secret and illegal account at the finance ministry purportedly used to siphon public funds, another matter involving a senior police officer for illegal trading of Mukula trees which has been banned and another matter of officials at the Ministry of Local Government allegedly involved in illegal awarding of contract for road-works to private firms who did not execute the works.

The spokesperson further said that remarks by President Hakainde Hichilema that the government will give more support to the agency to fight corruption has given it added impetus to confront the scourge.

She however said the agency will endeavor to remain impartial, meticulous and take decisive actions against corruption. Enditem

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