THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is reviewing the recent acquittal of former president Rupiah Banda in an oil deal case, with a view to appealing against the ruling.
Mr Banda was acquitted by the Lusaka magistrates’ court of abuse of authority of office involving a US$2.5 million Government-to-Government oil deal between Zambia and Nigeria.
Ndola High Court deputy registrar Joshua Banda, sitting as Lusaka chief resident magistrate, said the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt to warrant placing the former president on his defence.
ACC acting public relations manager Dorothy Mwanza said during a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the Commission would subsequently decide whether to appeal the ruling.
“The Commission is studying the ruling in which Mr Banda was acquitted of charges of abuse of authority of office involving a $2.5 million Government-to-Government oil deal between Zambia and Nigeria. The Commission would thereafter decide on whether to appeal against the said ruling,” Ms Mwanza said.
The ACC was also making inquiries into allegations of corrupt engagement by former State House special assistant for Press and public relations George Chellah, who was called for interrogations on Wednesday this week.
Details of Mr Chellah’s questioning remain scanty as Ms Mwanza said divulging the details would jeopardise the process.
She also said investigations into alleged corrupt activities at the National Youth Development Council (NYDC) and Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) were in progress. The ACC is investigating any wrong-doing at the ZRL following the dismissal of the chief executive officer Muyenga Attanga.
The NYDC board was recently dissolved to pave way for investigations into alleged misuse of public resources following public outcry by various organisations, including Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) and some youth groups.
Youth and Sports Minister Vincent Mwale said it was prudent that the board, headed by Savior Chishimba, be dissolved to allow investigations regarding the use of K294,596. 37, representing 30 per cent of the funds released to the Council which was used on Mr Chishimba’s expenses against a board meetings budget of K154,710.
The Commission had in the second quarter of this year received 439 reports of suspected cases of corruption, and investigations had commenced into 69 cases containing features of corrupt practices and considered pursuable under the Commission’s mandate.
Ms Mwanza said 31 reports did not have sufficient details for investigations, while 325 lacked elements of corruption and the complainants were advised on other avenues on how to pursue the matters further.