ACC starts probing Ronald Chitotela and Rodgers Mwewa

Mwansabombwe MP Rodgers Mwewa

THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has started investigations against sacked deputy ministers Ronald Chitotela and Rodgers Mwewa over allegations of misapplying Constituency Development Funds (CDF).
President Sata dropped the two members of Parliament (MPs) on Monday to enable them clear themselves over the allegations brought to the fore by an audit query.
Mr Chitotela, the Pambashe MP was deputy minister of Labour and Social Security while Mr Mwewa, the Mwansabombwe MP, was deputy minister of Agriculture and Livestock.
ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that investigations on the matter have commenced.
The commission has started collecting information on the case and hopes to conclude “as soon as possible”.
He said the public will be informed on the outcome of the probe.
“I’m unable to tell when the process will be concluded as we are still gathering information but we are hoping it can be concluded as soon as possible,” Mr Moono said.
The two MPs recently threatened to sue Auditor General Anna Chifungula on her revelation that they had allegedly misappropriated funds.
Ms Chifungula, however, dared them to go ahead with their intentions.
When announcing that he had dropped the two, President Sata said “anybody who is involved with corruption, we cannot move in the same direction”.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) have continued commending President Sata for this decision.
Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) Livingstone district chairperson Gideon Musonda says the decision is “worth supporting by all citizens”.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Musonda said this is “a wake-up call for all leaders”.
He said President Sata is committed to the fight against corruption.
“The President is walking the talk, the president is known to be allergic to corruption and the firing of the two ministers is a good sign of his being allergic to graft. We [FODEP] had earlier asked the said ministers to resign but they didn’t listen,” he said.
Mr Musonda said any leader accused of being corrupt should not be allowed to serve the people but step down on moral grounds until they exonerate themselves of the allegations.
During the commemoration of this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day on November 8, under the theme `Zero corruption, 100 percent development’, President Sata expressed sadness that corruption has affected the extent of achievements of the millennium development goals (MDGs).
President Sata encouraged Zambians to get involved in the fight against corruption and not fold their arms and watch greedy and selfish individuals siphon the much-needed resources for education, health, infrastructure and delivery of basic services.
Jubilee Centre executive director Pastor Lawrence Temfwe says the dropping of the two ministers is a clear indication that Government is committed to fighting the vice.
“We commend government efforts in applying the law unselectively. But another appeal I would want to make is that these cases must be dealt with while they are still fresh,” Pastor Temfwe said in an interview in Ndola yesterday.