The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has said it will be vetting change of motor vehicle ownership, land and other assets once applications have been made to respective public institutions.
The ACB issued a restriction notice Friday, signed by Director Reyneck Matemba.
He says this is one way of ensuring that proceeds of crime are not transferred through procurement of such assets.
According to Matemba, It is a routine mandate that the Bureau has been carrying.
“The ACB has issued this press release basically for two reasons; as you are aware the ACB has a preventing mandate to try to prevent corruption.
Secondly, last week we received information that there were some individuals that were trying to change ownership of their assets especially motor vehicles, houses and land,” Matemba said.
He said the ACB did the same some years back because of cashgate and they were able to identify a number of attempted change of ownership applications, and the Bureau had, until lately, felt that it had done enough.
According to Matemba, his office is not targeting anybody.
“If there are people out there who feel that they are being targeted, it’s very unfortunate,” he said
According to Matemba, the decision to reintroduce the process has been made in accordance with Section 10 (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act with the aim of preventing the disposal or concealment of the proceeds of crime
He added that the process is expected to take about 72 hours after receipt of submission to ensure that every service delivery to members of the public is not interrupted.
Matemba says formal communication on the re – introduction of the vetting and clearance process for applications to all relevant public institutions that deal with or process the applications has already been made.
Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency (Csat) Executive Director, Willy Kambwandira, expressed surprise with the move by the anti-graft body.
“Obviously one would not be faulted for questioning the timing of the directive. One would be compelled to think these are mere tactics by the ACB Director General to re- position himself with whichever government comes in. Remember, ACB never took any action when there was public outcry in the manner public land was managed,” Kambwandira said.
He said the move clearly shows that oversight institutions such as ACB dance to the tune of political leaders and said his organisation is not sure what impact the move will have in the fight against corruption in the country.
Kambwandira said it is now time to make oversight institutions such as ACB independent and give them adequate resources.