A GROUP of whistleblowers in Livingstone has reported the local Anti-Corruption Commission manager to the Commission for suspected abuse of authority of office and fraudulent acquisition of plots. The Anti-Corruption Commission has confirmed receipt of the whistleblower report. In confirming the report, ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono said the Commission’s Livingstone station manager Harry Marko Tembo was reported for the alleged offences. It is believed that Tembo acquired plots from the council without following laid down procedures.
According to the whistle blowers, Tembo was on August 20, 2008 given an offer letter of plot number 1067/238 on Lusaka Road through minute number LCC/1262/08 by the Livingstone City Council. He was later on June 24, 2009 given another offer letter for residential plot number R16, which is also off the Lusaka Road through minute number LCC/1273/08 as an alternative to plot number 1067/238 given to him in 2008. However, the council minute, number LCC/1273/08, presented to the ACC, talks about application for plot 1067/249, which was not quoted in the alternative offer to Tembo.
“In normal circumstances, when the council is giving alternative offers, it clearly states that these are alternative lots being given and the reasons for replacing them. In this case, the minute was dealing with direct offers. Therefore, Mr Tembo fraudulently got his plot on this minute number through the influence of his office to be appeased,” according to the report submitted to ACC.
The whistleblowers insisted that Tembo was not among the list of applicants in the said minute number LCC/1273/08 and questioned how he was offered the plot.
“This is clear fraud and abuse. The assumption is that someone within the Council was working with him to avoid their deals to be exposed,” according to the report.
The whistleblowers added that at the time of being offered plot number R16, Tembo was aware that it was situated in a Gazetted Forest.
“It was therefore illegal and immoral for him to accept that offer considering his position. He was participating in an illegality as a law enforcement officer. However, he went ahead to construct a semi-detached apartment in 2016 when the area was only degazetted in 2017 around September – October. It is also suspected that Mr Tembo has built on both plots 1067/249 and R16 when procedurally, he should have surrendered 1067/249 when he was given R16.”
The complaint and details of suspected offences were submitted to the ACC head office in Lusaka and Zambia Police fraud section at Livingstone Central Police.
“We wonder why Mr Tembo has not been prosecuted and dealt with by the police and his head office as this is a clear case of fraud and abuse of office. His continued stay in the office since February this year when this was exposed compromises evidence and witnesses as he by now has tampered with it and intimidated officers at Livingstone City Council not to provide any as he would prosecute them over bogus corruption charges,” complained the Whistleblowers.
“Should an organisation like the Anti-Corruption Commission be the ones keeping law breakers when they sing the loudest about integrity (integrity Committees) and zero tolerance to corruption through the abuse of office? They have advocated for senior government officials to be suspended on mere allegations. In this case, this man needs to be fired by mere facts that he is suspected to be involved in corruption and abuse of office by virtue of the office he holds,” reads the report.
And ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono said investigations in the matter relating to Tembo’s alleged abuse of office and fraudulent acquisition of plots have been instituted.
“I wish to acknowledge receipt of your press query in which you wanted to find out the status of the complaint against ACC officer Mr Harry Marko Tembo on alleged abuse of office in the manner he acquired plots in Livingstone. I wish to inform to you that the Commission instituted investigations into the matter and a decision will be made on the way forward once the investigation is concluded. I thank you for your inquiry,” said Moono.