Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, says he has not been summoned or questioned by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in any corruption case.
He has, therefore, indicated that he would seek appropriate statutory remedies for the injury caused to his character by Lumezi Member of Parliament, Munir Zulu, who is also a member of the African Parliamentary Network against Corruption (APNAC).
Musokotwane was responding to allegations by Zulu that he and his counterpart from infrastructure ministry, Charles Milupi, had secretly been appearing before ACC.
In a statement issued on Wednesday in Lusaka, he assured Zambia that he had not been summoned, not been interviewed as a suspect, and not been questioned by the ACC or any law enforcement agency in any corruption case.
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“Allegations levelled against me by Mr Munir Zulu in a video widely circulated on various communication and information platforms, have been brought to my attention. Mr Zulu alleges that I and my counterpart from infrastructure ministry have secretly been appearing before the Anti-Corruption-Commission, from who he has demanded an update on the matter.
“He also asserts that I have received pecuniary benefit through a bank transfer from a source he has not named. I take great exception to this but assure the nation again that I have not received any such payment either through bank accounts connected to me, directly in cash or in any other illegitimate manner,”Musokotwane said.
He stated that as Minister of Finance and National Planning, he was a public official running a public office which in the course of his duties, his office remained accessible to various stakeholders both within the public sector and outside.
Musokotwane said it was important to note that law enforcement agencies, in the course of their duties, were free to invite any public official or otherwise to assist with information in an ongoing or planned investigation.
“They should not be deterred from doing that if it helps in establishing facts in a matter that they are pursuing,” Musokotwane said.
He also assured the public and stakeholders that government would remain committed to transparency, accountability and the rule of law, now and in future in the course of implementing economic transformation programme and helping to better the lives of Zambians.
“We have noted with concern, some schemes aimed at deterring us from focussing on sustaining the progress made in repairing the economy, bettering the lives of our citizens, and improving the country’s standing in the international community and strengthening cooperation with all stakeholders, local and foreign. We are on high alert and we will not be derailed,” Musokotwane said.
Meanwhile, ACC Head Communication Timothy Moono has clarified that the commission was not investigating Musokotwane and Milupi over any alleged corrupt practices.
Moono stressed that the two Ministers had never been summoned by the Commission to appear before it for interrogation.
“The Commission wishes to inform the public that it is not investigating the two Cabinet Ministers over any alleged corrupt practices,”” he said in a separate statement on Wednesday.
Moono encouarged Zulu to furnish the Commission details of the alleged corruption so that investigation could be carried out as it was determined to tackle past, present, and future corruption in order to rid this country of this scourge.
The Anti-Corruption Commission wishes to clarify information circulating in the media that the Commission is investigating the Minister of Finance and National Planning Hon. Situmbeko Musokotwane and the Minister of Infrastructure and Urban Development Hon. Charles Milupi over alleged corrupt practices.
“The information stems from a media briefing held yesterday [Tuesday] by Lumezi Member of Parliament and Secretary General for the African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption (APNAC) Hon. Munir Zulu,” Moono said.
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