Speaking when he swore in Rollen Mukanda as ACC commissioner at State House this morning, Sata told ACC director general Rosewin Wandi that he was not going to suspend her, but warned her to stop investigating corruption allegations against Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba without his knowledge.
“Mr Mushabati can you tell this woman to stop embarrassing my ministers. There is a way of embarrassing ministers but you should not embarrass my ministers like that,” president Sata said as he posed for a photo with the newly sworn in commissioner.
Earlier at the ceremony, President Sata said he expected Mukanda to take sanity to the ACC.
“Madam Mukanda, I am taking you to ACC, I expect you to bring sanity to ACC. The ACC cannot investigate corruption cases through the press. I will not suspend anybody but you cannot announce to the journalists that you are investigating a minister, you don’t inform me. Everybody deserves the dignity to be investigated in privacy. You cannot call the media and say we are investigating this person. A person cannot be investigated in the newspaper,” President Sata said.
Although the president appeared to blame Ms. Wandi for disclosing the date and time of Kabimba’s interview to the press, in fact it was Kabimba himself who announced it to the press, and invited a series of reporters along with dozens of unruly, disruptive youth cadres who succeeded in suspending the interview. Kabimba’s conduct at the ACC was criticised by numerous civil society groups.
In response to President Sata’s instructions to give Kabimba and other ministers special treatment, she said she would not let Kabimba go without answering to corruption charges.
“Off course we will not interview people through the media, but we will still question him. This does not mean that we will not investigate. Very soon we will communicate with him to inform him about the way forward,” she said.
On Monday, Kabimba who is also ruling party, PF Secretary General reported at ACC headquarters with hundreds of party cadres and demanded that the investigators question him in from of media cameras arguing that the matter was of public interest.
ACC Deputy Director General Irene Lamba however refused to go ahead with the interview and told the outspoken minister that fresh arrangements would be made in the matter.
The corruption allegations against Wynter Kabimba, which may involve an undisclosed shareholding in Midland Energy, were recently the subject of an investigation by the The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom.