THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is reportedly under pressure to clear Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba from corruption charges in which he is accused of having received kick backs from the oil tender awarded to international oil firm, Trafigura.
The media leak suggesting that Mr. Kabimba has been not found culpable is part of the plot to prepare Zambian minds for the eventual downfall of Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba and consolidation of the hold on power by the ruling cartels.
And former President Rupiah Banda’s son Andrew has challenged ACC to deny that the investigations going on are not only fake, shameful but also politically motivated.
ACC officials who were disgusted by the overt campaign against GBM told the Daily Nation that specific instructions were given to officers handling Mr. Kabimba’s and Defence Minister Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) cases to quickly wind up investigations before President Sata returned from his overseas trip in readiness for an announcement dismissing GBM.
The officials said that they were working under extreme pressure especially after reporting in the preliminaries that Mr. Mwamba’s Arizona company was selected on merit as it was the cheapest bidder to supply poles to ZESCO.
“We were given specific instructions to make sure that we closed the matter before President Sata returns in order for him to receive a report from ACC Director General Rosewin Wandi and for that we have been under pressure,
“We have briefed her about the findings but she is also working under pressure and specific instructions. So we don’t know what will happen.”
Information on ZESCO files showed that Arizona owned by GBM did indeed bid for the poles contract and was the cheapest and that the bidding was transparent and lacked any element of corruption.
The officials further said that political pressure and biased coverage from the media on the matter had diluted the whole concept of investigations which might affect the final report.
The source revealed that no effort had been made to establish the relationship between Mr. Kabimba as chairman of the commission of inquiry tasked to investigate the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) deals under the MMD whose report had submitted to President Sata and his establishment of Midlands Energy and subsequent award of the US$500 million fuel supply contract to Trafigura.
The source added that a number of ‘inquiries’ against Mr. Kabimba had been abandoned.
And opposition former UPND Siavonga Member of Parliament Douglas Syakalima said that his party and Zambians at large were not surprised about reports that Mr. Kabimba had been cleared because that was anticipated.
“We are not surprised because we knew the outcome before they sneaked such information to their friends. We have already said that a group of dangerous crooks have ganged up to loot whatever is remaining in the country and they want to use the power of the pen to do that. I want to say that we anticipated about this ‘foolish’ ACC outcome but we want to warn them that they can survive today but we shall follow them later,” he said.
Mr. Syakalima challenged ACC to explain where they left out Mr. Kabimba’s alleged participation in the formation of an oil company after the PF was voted into government.
He said that it was not strange that ACC hurriedly completed investigations and cleared Mr. Kabimba, “because we have been told that a report has already been sent to State House against GBM and President Sata will soon fire him as Defence Minister. Why have they not told us about the findings in Peter Daka (Former Minister of Agriculture) whose account was closed during the Msanzala by-election?”
And Former president Rupiah Banda’s son Andrew has warned that any attempts by ACC to illegally connive with corrupt political elements to desperately clear Mr. Kabimba would haunt them in the near future.
Mr. Banda a former Press Secretary at Zambian Embassy in Italy and former Zambia Deputy High Commissioner to India said that the criterion used by ACC to clear Mr. Kabimba was fake and illegal.
He said that the serious allegations against Mr. Kabimba were in public interest and therefore, ACC should conduct itself in an honourable manner.
“This is a matter in public domain. It cannot be cleared by a newspaper and this is not good for this country. If not carefully handled it will cause anarchy in the nation. I challenge ACC that the investigations going on are fake and shameful as it is politically motivated,” he said.
Mr. Banda said that the only credible body to clear Mr. Kabimba of nay corruption allegations was the tribunal or the courts of law and that President Sata should institute a tribunal.
He said, “I want to warn them that it will follow him (Kabimba) to his graves. Because the investigation itself was corruptly done and I therefore will not accept the findings no matter what happens. This is hypocritical and unaccepted,” he said.
Mr. Banda said that ACC was incompetent to investigate Mr. Kabimba, adding that it was unfortunate that the same people in government were deceiving themselves and the nation being created that Mr. Kabimba was innocent was not correct under the current circumstances.