Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in Zambia: Public Perception and Perspective of ACC

“ THE Lusaka High Court has upheld the conviction slapped on former Ministry of Health Chief Human Resource Development Officer, Henry Kapoko and two others for theft by public servant and money laundering involving K6.8 million” .

Justice Chisunka said the grand theft by the trio led to the donors pulling out, with the vulnerable not accessing proper medical care. In this matter, Kapoko and five others were facing 20 counts of theft by public servant involving over K6.8 million. The suspects were also facing 49 counts of money laundering involving 24 vehicles, two lodges, three houses, a filling station and several bank accounts, among other things. Magistrate Zulu found them guilty and sentenced them to nine years imprisonment on each of the two counts but the five being dissatisfied, appealed to the High Court. Do not ask how long this case has been going on.

After an acquittal followed by public outcry, the freed man and Former Health Permanent Secretary, Dr. Kashiwa Bulaya, was convicted on three counts of abuse of authority and corruption and was sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour on all charges. Kitwe based Principal Resident Magistrate, Edward Musona, in his ruling said he was satisfied that the prosecution had proved the case against Dr. Bulaya who was charged with abuse of authority. It was alleged that between August 17 and October 31 2001, he abused his authority by disregarding laid down tender procedure to engage BUTICO A1 to supply medical drugs to the ministry of health. It was alleged that between August 17 and October 31 2001, Dr. Bulaya corruptly received K11, 913 Million cash gratification from Dr. Angelo Yousov as  an inducement for awarding a contract to BUTICO A1 for supplying drugs to the ministry of Health.

I have picked on these two cases investigated by the ACC just to contrast with the other Health Ministry Senior official, One Dr. Chitalu Chilufya, MANSA Central MP and current Minister of Health who has just been acquitted as the ACC Officer testifying in the matter allegedly shocked not only to the presiding Magistrate, his Professional Colleagues, Employers but many Law-abiding and God-fearing Zambian Citizens. Yet many others are not perplexed at all. It was expected, just like it may be expected in the pending case of Ex-ZAF Commander General Chimese and property built on Kasanga Chungu’s titled land. By the way, and probably coincidentally, all the names above so far seem to be pointing to the Six-out-of-ten, the now infamous tribal cousinship joke of 6/10.

Let us look at some litany of allegations of corruption cases which have waned away, died a natural death, gone like water under the bridge.

  1. Dr. FTJ Chiluba’s allegations eventually led to an acquittal. Zambians still wonder weather the $8m in ZAMTROP account was surrendered to the owner, the widows, family members, GRZ, Treasury, OOP or Pardoner. 
  2. Regina Chiluba’s case. After conviction by the lower court, she was acquitted by the Panel of 3 High Court Judges who said the cases were not properly investigated
  3. Mr. RB Banda’s immunity removed. Allegations against him and his sons eventually led to acquittals.
  4. Dora Siliya’s RP Capital – ZAMTEL and Radar System Sagas are water under the Bridge
  5. Thandiwe Banda’s Mpundu Trust Kabulonga Property Case thrown out
  6. Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane and Thousand Bicycles in the Garage never went anywhere
  7. Austin Lyato and his underground Banking system of K2b led to an acquittal and Zambians will never know where the money came from and how it was utilized
  8. GBM’s allegations against Wynter Kabimba at ACC never went anywhere
  9. Wynter Kabimba’s counter allegations against GBM never saw any light of the day.
  10. Allegations of corruption against Chishimba Kambwili and his corruption and buildings of his Housing Complex never culminated into anything. He faces a case of forging his Son’s signature when son was allegedly in UK
  11. Ex-Community Development Minister Emerine Kabanshi, fired after US4 million British Aid to Zambia meant for social cash transfer beneficiaries did a hide and seek within the corners of ZANACO Bank Account. Funds had disappeared and resurfaced or discovered in a Bank account. Minister, PS and Directors were fired in 2018. No prosecution up to date.   
  12. Ronald Kaoma Chitotela’s arrest, prosecution, acquittal and celebrations by family members and Party Cadres was noted by Zambians.  
  13. Dr. Chitalu Chilufya’s allegations, Warn and Caution Statement, eventual arrest, prosecution, witness testimony and acquittal are the awash in the press and social media.
  14. Ex-ZAF Commander General Eric Chimese was arrested in 2019 and the matter is before court while those arrested later but accompanied by LUAPULA CHIEFS have been acquitted. Fili uko Tuleya. Zambians can almost predict the outcome.
  15. The list goes on. And on…and on. You may wish to add your own…

Here below are some documented views and sentiments of Several Zambians;

  1. Martin Mushumba of Higher Education Authority, Zambia and Jeet Sapkota of Kwansei Gakuin University in January 2018, wrote a book entitled; UNDERSTANDING CORRUPTION IN ZAMBIA: AN ANALYSIS OF THE CHALLENGES IN ERADICATING THE SCOURGE. In their Abstract, they asserted that “ Corruption is an obstacle to the development of any society and the general welfare of the people. Among its dreadful effects include the compromise in economic efficiency, increase in the cost of doing business, and the deprivation of citizens’ access to basic goods and services. Besides, corruption perpetuates poverty and undermines development. Apparently, corruption remains a major problem in Zambia despite the existence of a number of anti-corruption watchdogs and rigorous changes in the law to curb the vice. The public sector remains the most severely affected. Reviewing corruption trends in Zambia from 1964 to 2017 shows that corruption has increased since the transition into multiparty democracy and the subsequent economic liberalization of 1991. In this regard, many studies have been conducted on corruption in Zambia. However, substantial amount of literature available show that most of the studies have been meant to confirm the existence of corruption in Zambia, and little effort has been made towards establishing what had made the corruption elusive to eradicate within the Zambian society. This paper asserts that corruption had found its resting place in Zambia spreading its ugly fangs across all sectors of the economy because of lack of political will to fight the vice, lack of transparency and accountability, poor enforcement of the law and a rampant culture of political patronage. This paper further provides recommendations that could be considered in the country’ s efforts to put an end to corruption. It recommends that Government shows political commitment towards the fight against corruption, restructuring of the public sector and consistently engage the Auditor General’ s office and the Anti-Corruption Commission to explore means of closing the gaps that facilitated corruption in the public sector”.
  • Another Zambian, Brian Chama in his book “Anti-Corruption Tabloid Journalism in Africa” Sheridan College (Oakville), pp.21-37. Brian’s Abstract “discusses anti-corruption tabloid journalism practice in Zambia arguing that it operates in an environment designed to shut tabloids down. He focuses on the copper shipment scandal in which copper revenues in millions of dollars were swindled over the period of several years through South Africa’s company Marcol, set up by Zambian government officials to inflate freight charges on shipments. Brian looks at the slush fund scandal which involved the dishing out of money by President Frederick Chiluba’s regime using illegal offshore accounts which were fueled by the culture of brown envelopes popularly known as slush fund to hang on to power. He discusses the Zamtel scandal in which Communications and Transport Minister Dora Siliya hired RP Capital Partners Limited to value Zamtel assets to sale seventy-five per cent of shares for US$257 million with the government only recovering US$15 million. Brian concludes that there exists a culture of political patronage and corruption with impunity in Zambia among leaders making exposure by tabloid newspapers a serious risk that often results in arrests and imprisonment including the closure of tabloid newspapers”
  • EPHRAIM KABUNDA MUNSHIFWA – Department of Real Estate Studies, School of the Built Environment, Copperbelt University, Zambia prepared a Paper for presentation at the “2018 WORLD BANK CONFERENCE ON LAND AND POVERTY” The World Bank – Washington DC, March 19-23, 2018 titled “CUSTOMARY LAND GOVERNANCE IN ZAMBIA: INERTIA, CONFUSION AND CORRUPTION. Ephraim argues in his abstract that “The need for a “good” governance structure on customary land in Zambia is now more urgent than ever before. High demand by multinationals, local investors, urban elites, local bureaucrats and politicians, is putting pressure on customary land to reform or commercialize. And yet the State has opted to “move more slowly” on reforms affecting customary land. With limited administrative mechanisms at the hands of traditional leaders, taken as custodians of customary land, the results have been confusion and corruption in the governance of this land. This paper argues that this inertia to reform has a long history, starting from pre-independence at the time reserves for indigenous communities were established in 1928, into the current debate on the National Land Policy. Constant squabbles between the State and traditional leaders on which way reforms should take have also contributed to this quandary”
  • Jones John Kalyongwe, Mubiana Macwan’gi, Balimu Mwiya and M. Muya of the University of Zambia wrote an article in 2018 entitled “ How Contextual Factors Fuel Corruption in the Procurement Cycle of Construction Projects”. They stated that “Corruption has long pervaded the construction industry in Zambia, as it involves interaction between various stakeholders and involves a certain level of cooperation in order to coordinate the numerous activities which make up the construction process. The balance between activities which legally facilitate this process and those which are tainted by concepts of corruption is not always clear. Corruption is commonly defined as the “abuse of public power for private benefit” (Rodriguez et al., 2005, p. 383), but it goes beyond public officials and often affects businesses and supply chains as well (Dixit, 2015; Cuervo-Cazurra, 2016). Corruption has many connotations and interpretations, varying according to time and place (Rose-Ackerman and Palifka, 2016). The common dimensions of corruption involve exchange, violation of norms, abuse of power, indirect victims and secrecy (Rabl and Kühlmann, 2008). The scale and complexity of many construction projects, together with the number of parties participating, the geographical locations where they are performed and the legal systems to which they are exposed can make them especially prone to bribery and corruption. This paper therefore is focused on how contextual factors fuel corruption in procurement in the Construction Sector. Findings from a two years’ study, Options for Reducing Corruption in Procurement: The Case of the Construction Sector in Zambia, reveal that how people are socialised to relate to parents, elders and leaders has an effect on how corruption is perceived. In addition, evolving culture has led to a misinterpretation of cultural norms and its current use is aiding corruption.

Published by Kemman

Regulatory and Independent Consulting Professional with expertise in Financial Crime Risk Compliance encompassing Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Countering Terrorism Financing (CTF), Anti-Bribery & Corruption (ABC – FCPA & UKAB), Global Trade & Sanctions, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD), Internal Audit Testing, Reviews, Validation, Risk Assessment. Worked in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America (USA). Banking & FinTech, Anti-Sex & Human Trafficking Advocate, FOREX & Cryptocurrency trading, Travel & Tours, Telecommunications & Energy.

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