Update on council corruption: ACC seize files

Officials from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) have collected some files from the suspended Lusaka City Council (LCC) in relation to a matter in which Patriotic Front (PF) members of Parliament, councillors and officials are alleged to have irregularly shared 102 plots in Lilayi.

The officials asked for all the files, minutes and a list of names of beneficiaries of the plots from the office of the mayor, which is now occupied by a Government-appointed administrator, Solomon Sakala.

Sources at ACC said vital documents were collected in the ongoing probe into failure by the council to advertise the plots in line with the law.
Ten plots were awarded to Lusaka Mayor Daniel Chisenga and five to his deputy without following procedure.

Mr Sakala also confirmed having received officials from ACC whom he said were asking for details about the plot allocations, which his office provided.

Mr Sakala, who is Copperbelt provincial local government officer, said his role was to coordinate the activities at the suspended council to ensure that everything was put in order and corrected in liaison with the team of auditors appointed by the minister of Local Government and Housing.

He said his job was to work closely with those assigned to restore sanity at the biggest council in the country.

The Lilayi Housing Project is State land and requires the council to seek authority from the minister of Lands before it could be advertised to residents.

The council is also required to advertise all plots above 100 but the 102 plots were shared and allocated without such procedure being followed.
The Mayor Mr Chisenga said in an interview that he would comply with the investigations in line with the position taken by the PF.

Declining to comment further, Mr Chisenga said he was no longer in office since the council was suspended on January 21.
LCC public relations manager Chanda Makanta confirmed having seen officials from the ACC who said they were at the council to investigate irregularities in plot allocations.

“I can confirm that we received officials from the ACC and they went to meet the Local Government administrator.
“I do not have further details on the matter since it is now officially under investigations
by the security institutions,” Ms Makanta said.

PF spokesperson, Given Lubinda said his party was ready for investigations by the ACC and maintained that the party did not breach any piece of legislation.

Lusaka City Council was suspended last month following allegations that councillors and officials allocated themselves plots without advertising them.

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