Kabimba Blocking Corruption Prosecution of MP Chitotela
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has found that Pambashe Member of Parliament Ronald Chitotela (PF) has a case to answer, after discovering sufficient evidence of corruption by his office in abusing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in the procurement of second-hand ambulances.
Although the investigation was completed some time ago, the Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito has refused to file charges against the PF member while the ACC is under pressure to keep quiet, allegedly due to significant political pressure from Justice Minister and PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba, a source tells Zambia Reports.
According to the ACC investigation, the source says, Chitotela was found to have wildly overpaid for a number of shoddy used vehicles using CDF funds to be used as “ambulances” in his constituency, while pocketing more than 80,000 kwacha in excess funds to personally benefit from the procurement. The source says that the original ACC report on Chitotela also found that he had purchased 2 new mark twos and a Mark X Toyota from the same money to be used by his personal car hiring company called “RKC Car Hire and Tours.”
The source says that the report is now being edited to remove these findings of corruption.
Previously Chitotela had been fired as Deputy Minister of Labour by President Michael Sata, who ordered the ACC to investigate numerous complaints of corruption in his constituency.
But apparently Chitotela has a powerful protector in Kabimba, who has intervened in his case by requesting his ally Nchito to halt the filing of charges based on the results of the ACC investigation, as well as pressuring ACC Director General Rosewin Wandi to keep silent over the case and not disclose the results to the president or to the public at large, the source says.
The reason that Kabimba is protecting Chitotela from this anti-corruption prosecution is that he needs him as one of the network of MPs he is recruiting to rally behind his bid to takeover the presidency from Michael Sata.
“Kabimba doesn’t want to Chitotela to be found with this case to answer; if he has to go to court, he’ll stop being an MP and Kabimba will lose support for his presidential bid,” the source says. “Kabimba is threatening and intimidating both the ACC as well as Chitotela as part of his scheme to grab power.”
Both the ACC and Nchito have previously come under public criticism for the alleged political bias in the cases they choose to pursue vs. the cases that they discontinue. Several MPs from the opposition MMD party were found with cases to answer by the ACC, but the cases were then later dropped once the MPs defected to the ruling PF party, helping to give them parliamentary majority.