Zambia’s anti-corruption chief has revealed how the agency prosecuted a former president amid calls to intensify the fight in East Africa, according to the Daily Nation newspaper of Kenya
Apart from former President Fredrick Chiluba, the Zambian Anti-Corruption Commission also hauled to court a former army commander, airforce commander and intelligence chief.
The commission’s director Godfrey Kayuku said the Zambia National Service commander, permanent secretaries and other high ranking government officials were also charged.
“We have political will to take the culprits to court,” Mr Kayuku told journalists after presenting a speech at East African Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (EAAACA) at Kenya Institute of Administration Thursday
Unlike Kenya’s Anti-Corruption Commission that has no powers to prosecute, Mr Kayuku said Zambia’s has prosecutors although they have to get consent from director of public prosecutions under the Attorney General’s office.
“After sending our documents to the DPP no cases are declined. We are all in the fight against corruption. We work well. People should answer for their sins” Mr Kayuku said adding that his organisation has also managed to repatriate money stashed abroad.
Mr Kayuku’s remarks are a challenge to Kacc which has been accused of only targeting “small” fish.
Mr Kayuku said the graft war should involve everyone.
On a speech read on his behalf by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, President Kibaki said the government is committed to fight corruption to improve the lives of Kenyans.
The President said a process has been initiated to form a new commission with more powers to succeed Kacc as per the new Constitution.
He said graft affects the realisation of a country’s goals.
Mr Musyoka called for the formation of a continental body to fight corruption.
EAAACA President Tito Rutaremara said political will from the top to the grassroots and education of “our” people are key for success in fight against corruption.
Dr Rutaremara, who heads Rwanda’s anti-graft body, said Africans should stand up and fight for their rights to change the continent.
He said the same efforts put in fight against terrorism and HIV and Aids should be directed to corruption.
Heritage minister William Ole Ntimama said anti-graft agencies should be given enough tools to fight the vice.
Kacc director PLO Lumumba said graft consumes 25-30 percent of African countries Gross Domestic Product with US$140 billion being taken out of the continent annually.
He said corruption could stop the country from achieving vision 2030 adding that it is to blame “for our struggles with diseases, jiggers, malaria and cholera”.
“We must begin to do things differently. Time is gone when lip service was paid to fight against corruption..There’s a time for everything,” Prof Lumumba said.
He was happy that Burundi’s, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda Presidents were fully supporting their country’s anti-graft agencies and that “our own Kibaki has been in the forefront in last few months”.
He said Southern Sudan, Zambia and Nigeria leaders who sent observers to the conference were also keen in eradicating graft.
“There’s a sense in Africa that corruption must be fought seriously. Until the day we eliminate corruption, we are going nowhere,” he said.
He said the East African Community should devise ways of tackling the vice as members moved towards integration.
Prof Lumumba said negotiations for establishment of EAC protocol against corruption.
Mr Rutaremara called for sharing of information in EAC to combat corruption adding that Parliament, Judiciary and Executive should also support the agencies that are involved.
During the conference a manual on regulations, prevention and investigations to be used in EAC countries was launched.