Don’t harass whistle-browers, ACC warns

Anti Corruption Commision - ACC
Anti Corruption Commision - ACC

THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has instituted legal proceedings against the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) for terminating employment of three employees who reported suspected corrupt activities at the institution.

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ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono said REA had been charged with unlawful reprisal contrary to section 46 as read with section 18 (c) (III) of the Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Whistle-blowers) Act No. 4 of 2010 of the Laws of Zambia.

  REA, on dates unknown but between November 1, 2012 and November 30, 2012 in Lusaka, engaged in unlawful reprisals against three employees by terminating their contracts of employment for having blown the whistle against their former chief executive officer, Wilfred Serenje.

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“Two witnesses have so far testified in the matter which is before Lusaka Magistrate Boniface Mwiinga, and hearing continues on April 24, 2014,” Mr Moono said in a statement yesterday.

He said ACC arrested Mr Serenje and charged him with abuse of authority of office contrary to section 99(1) of the Penal Code Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

“This is in connection with the manner in which he allowed his personal motor vehicle, a Nissan Sunny registration number ABA 4525, to draw fuel and lubricants from the REA account held at Tiiseza Zambia Limited which was trading as Puma Service Station at Arcades Shopping Mall in Lusaka,” he said.

Mr Serenje was arrested in September 2013, and trial continues in the matter.

Mr Moono said ACC would not hesitate to prosecute institutions and individuals that victimise employees who blow the whistle on corrupt activities.

He said the Whistle-blower Act was there to protect such individuals from any kind of victimisation arising from their reporting of corrupt activities and any other maladministration.

“I also wish to appeal to members of the public to come forward and report any suspected corrupt activities without fear of victimisation because the law is there to protect them against such,” he said.

Mr Moono said institutions and individuals that take adverse action against employees for having blown the whistle would face the full wrath of the law.

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