Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) probes UNZA rehab contract


THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has instituted investigations into the contract awarded to Dee Ja Construction to rehabilitate lecture theatres at the University of Zambia (UNZA).
ACC spokesperson Timothy Moono said the commission had received reports of corruption in the manner the contract was awarded to the construction firm.
Dee Ja Construction was recently awarded a contract worth more than K420,000 to rehabilitate two lecture theatres at the university.
“I wish to confirm that the commission received the complaint in question, and has instituted preliminary inquiries in the matter,” Mr Moono said.
The programme was a joint venture between management and the students’ union but sources say the union leadership was tasked to identify a contractor.
Some students say the company is owned by two students at the university as well as a close friend of University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) president Stephen Kyengula.
Clement Chazanga, one of the students at UNZA, said the awarding of the contract to Dee Ja was against the policy of the country’s highest learning institution and amounted to corruption.
But Mr Kyengula said the accusations linking the construction company and the union were baseless because it was not the duty of the students’ union to find a contractor.
“UNZASU is just a partner in this and it has no capacity to renovate the lecture theatres,” Mr  Kyengula said in an interview. “These are baseless accusations and no one should believe them.”
“I don’t know the owners of the company, and it was not the union that was selecting the contractor,” he added. “But I understand where all this is coming from because we will be having elections soon and people are campaigning.”
Some students, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Dee Ja is owned by Kalikeka Mbewe, who is believed to be a close friend of Mr Kyengula’s, while two students are appearing as shareholders.
“Mr Kyengula did not declare interest in this matter when he knew very well that he was engaging a friend when the union was tasked to find a contractor,” he said.