By Mukwima Chilala and Ketra Kalunga
Stakeholders have expressed worry that Zambians are slowly losing confidence in the fight against corruption following the loss of preliminary cases by the Anti-Corruption Commission-ACC in the courts of law.
This follows the court decision to discharge former Tourism minister Ronald Chitotela in a case involving two counts of possessing property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime and the court’s decision to vacate the warrant of seizure of former Lusaka province minister Bowman Lusambo’s house in Lusaka’s Chamba valley area which the ACC had recently seized among other cases.
United Party for National Development-UPND Kankoyo Member of Parliament Heartson Mabeta said the loss of preliminary cases by the ACC is proving that the fight against corruption is a failed project which needs an overhaul.
Mr Mabeta said the inefficiency on the part of the ACC had given an indication that there was need for an overhaul of the institution and that there is also need to amend certain laws.
Meanwhile Economic Freedom Fighters leader Kasonde Mwenda said the Fight against Corruption was failing because the new dawn administration had attached emotions to it as it was being politicized.
Mr. Mwenda said the recent alleged corruption cases involving some former government officials had given an impression that there was political interference in the fight against graft.
Mr Mwenda also said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) flouted the law in the seizure of property belonging to former Lusaka province minister, Bowman Lusambo because such a decision is made at an advanced stage of the law suit.
Mr. Mwenda said there was blatant disregard of the procedure in the seizure of Mr Lusambo’s property because the seizure note didn’t guarantee eviction of Mr. Lusambo and his family from the house.
He said in an interview that the ACC erred when they seized the property at the initial because a restriction notice was enough.
“We don’t know what law they were using, to borrow Bowman Lusambo words, they were using laws within themselves because you only seizure property at a very advanced stage in a law suit, you don’t seize at the first step, you restrict,” he said.
The magistrate court on Thursday ordered the ACC to surrender back the over K22 million Chamba valley property it seized from Mr. Lusambo on grounds that it was irregularly done.
According to the order issued in chambers by magistrate Albert Mwaba dated May 19, 2022, the subordinate court noted that the warrant of seizure was irregularly issued as an affidavit in support was not filed as required by the law.