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Corruption Task Force Hurriedly Disbanded, Says Zambia Transparency Official


Corruption Task Force Hurriedly Disbanded, Says Zambia Transparency Official

Corruption Task Force Hurriedly Disbanded, Says Zambia Transparency Official

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Zambia's Attorney General Mumba Malila said the disbandment of the country's Task Force on Corruption will not impact corruption cases currently before the courts.

Vice President George Kunda dissolved the Task Force late last week and merged it into the country's Anti-Corruption Commission.

Reuben Lifuka, president of Transparency International Zambia, said the government hastily disbanded the corruption Task Force.

"We don't think government has taken the prerequisite preparation for the Anti-Corruption Commission to take over the current corruption cases in court as well as the investigation. As a result, we do have our fears as to whether there would be continued success for some of the cases that are still before the court of law," he said.

Lifuka expressed doubt over Attorney-General Mumba Malila's comments that disbanding the corruption task force would not affect cases currently before the courts.

"If you recall, the task force was set up from the understanding that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) did not have the necessary technical and financial capacity to handle the high-profile cases…now we are wondering how the ACC can still be given responsibility for a task they initially they couldn't handle," Lifuka said.

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Some have argued that the force was established specifically to go after corruption cases involving former President Frederick Chiluba.

But a Zambian court in August found the former president not guilty of embezzling $500 million.

Soon after, the Zambian government refused to renew the contract of Task Force Chairman Maxwell Nkolo.

Lifuka said he sees a connection between the acquittal of former President Chiluba and the disbandment of the Task Force on Corruption.

"Immediately after the acquittal of former President Chiluba we have seen a push to have the task force disbanded. A lot of pro-government entities have been calling on government to disband the task force, and within a period of less than a month the government has responded with the disbanding of the task force," Lifuka said.

He said Transparency International Zambia wants to see the actual implementation plan for the government's anti-corruption policy.

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