THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC’s) failure to conclusively deal with the Tedworth Properties issue leaves room for the members of the public to conclude that some officers are direct beneficiaries of the alleged looting, the Zambia Republican Party has observed.
Party president Wright Musoma told the Daily Nation yesterday that ACC had annoyed Zambians by its partial and selective way of investigating matters relating to corruption which were of national interest.
Mr. Musoma said he was dismayed by the lack of seriousness in the way the commission had handled certain matters including the Tedworth Properties investigation, by applying double standards over the way it carried out its probe and that he was certain something fishy was going on.
He implored the commission to realise that it was not working in its individual capacity but was discharging its duties on behalf of Zambians who had given it the mandate to rid the country of corruption, which he said was detrimental to the economy.
“There is no way the commission should be playing double standards when it comes to certain high-profile cases that it is investigating. Sometimes we wonder what really goes on at that commission. The Tedworth issue has been in the public domain for a long time now but the public is not given reasonable information from the so-called investigations and this is worrying,” Mr. Musoma said.
He wondered why the commission was paying much attention to cases that were already concluded while paying little attention to high-profile cases that had robbed Zambians of money that could have been channelled to developmental projects.
“The ACC is being funny and taking Zambians for granted. For example not long ago, we read in the papers that it was studying the acquittal of former Republican president Rupiah Banda and would decide whether to appeal or not. Why paying so much attention to an issue that has been concluded by competent judges and avoiding straightforward cases that should have been concluded a long time ago?
“These are the double standards that we are talking about. It doesn’t make sense that they should be talking about challenging the courts of law which may have competent personnel who may be more qualified than them; yet they are failing to conclude their own investigations,” he said.
And Mr. Musoma has called for the disbandment of the ACC so that other investigating wings can step in to probe the officers who may have benefited from the alleged Tedworth Property looting.
He said as long as nothing was done to the ACC, Zambians should forget about sanity in the fight against corruption because some of the officers at ACC could be shielding corrupt elements in the country.
Early last month, ACC dismissed stories in the media that rentals from the seized Tedworth properties had been looted by known individuals, and that the commission had not instituted investigations into the matter.
The ACC said it was not shielding corrupt elements regarding the US$ 1.3 million allegedly looted in rentals from the seized properties by the Task Force on Corruption.
To-date, the commission has not yet updated the nation on its findings over the matter.
Last week, the ACC said it was still studying the judgment in which the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court acquitted former President Rupiah Banda of abuse of authority of office involving a US$2.5 million government-to-government oil deal between Zambia and Nigeria.
ACC acting public relations manager Dorothy Mwanza said the commission would then decide whether to appeal against the ruling or not, based on the outcome of the investigations.