The Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating Zambia Law Development Commission director Hope Chanda Ndhlovu for suspected corrupt acts, abuse of authority of office and maladministration.
The investigations were prompted by whistleblowers within the Commission who raised several complaints ranging from corruption, money laundering and abuse of authority of office against Ndhlovu. ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono confirmed the development saying investigations have reached advanced stage. “I wish to acknowledge receipt of your query in which you want to find on whether the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is investigating corruption allegations leveled against Zambia Law Development Commission Director Hope Chanda Ndhlovu. In response to your query, I wish to confirm that this matter was reported to the Commission and the investigation has reached an advanced stage,” stated Moono on Thursday.
According to a January 24, 2017 whistleblower report to the ACC, Drug Enforcement Commission and the Investigator General, Ndhlovu might be wanting/guilty of acts of either abuse of authority or money laundering or both if proved. The whistleblowers demanded a full criminal investigation into the identified acts.
They accused Ndhlovu of illegally awarding the printing of Zambia Law Development Commission publications.
“The Director has been single sourcing one individual namely Oscar Chisenga, a full-time employee of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) under the Information Department and a former workmate of the Director the time she used to work for HRC,” reads the letter.
The whistleblowers also accuse Ndhlovu of illegally awarding provision of catering services at the launch of the GBV fast-track court in Lusaka.
“On or about first quarter of 2016, Director single sourced her colleague to provide catering services for simple snacks at the launch of the Fast Track Court at Lusaka at the cost of K65,000.00, a value well above the permissible maximum threshold of K50,000.00, which the Director is entitled to award,” reads the letter.
The whistleblower also told the commission that Ndhlovu single sourced her friend Kasandra, a full-time employee of Zamtel, to draft the Anti-Torture Bill at an exorbitant sum of over K100,000.00 without any tender floated to other qualified drafters to bid.
They also said during the one-week ZLDC Technical Committee meeting on the Review of Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code project held at Protea Hotel in Chisamba in December 2016, Ndhlovu checked in with her family who were neither part of the project nor employees of ZLDC to lodge and feed from project funds for the whole period.
“During the same period, Director also checked in at another ZLDC workshop at Fringilla Lodge on the Prison Reforms project, signed the attendance sheet and received allowances there also for the whole period when she did not attend for that whole period,” reads the letter.
They also accused Ndhlovu of single-handedly engaging seven interns on the pretext that the same persons were interns without posting any advert for recruitment of such and without subjecting the alleged interns to any interview.
“These interns are being paid salaries and allowances of K3,000.00 per month plus K75.00 per day, perhaps the whole idea of separating the said amounts is to circumvent the tax threshold of K3300.00. These alleged interns just sit in the library doing nothing at all. The said interns are suspected to be related to her and her friends’ children (a clear-cut indication of nepotism, if proven). This is despite the fact that the ZLDC research department is fully fledged with competent staff to carry out all the projects, thus raising suspicions on the recruitment of interns who are being attached to donor-funded projects,” according to the letter.
“In January 2017, Director single handedly and secretly contracted one Mrs Chipo Mushota Nkhata, a lecturer at the University of Zambia and an old-time friend to Director to conduct a two (2) weeks training for the questionable interns, some of whom are merely Diploma holders. The sum of money paid to Mrs Nkhata under the contract remains undisclosed but is believed to be exorbitant. Contrary to procedure this contract to provide training services was again not subjected to any tender.”
The whistleblowers also accused the director of receiving allowances at ZLDC workshops without attending such workshops.
“This is in relation to the workshop on Laws Relating to Children held in November 2016 at Twangale Lodge in Lilayi, where she received allowances without having attended. Further, it is an anomaly for her to receive allowances for attending Commission meetings held at the Commission when she is a full-time employee of ZLDC and is not supposed to receive any such allowances,” reads the report.
Ndhlovu’s phones were off and a text message sent to her was not replied to by press time.