By Mwaka Ndawa
THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says there was no malice on the part of its agents when they issued restriction and seizure notices on Ronald Chitotela’s property in Chongwe as it was part of procedural steps that could be taken in order to properly carry out an investigation.
Chitotela, who is Pambashe PF member of parliament, has petitioned the ACC and its agents acting director general Silumesi Muchula, Gift Tembo and Kopano Chilembo in the Lusaka High Court for seizing his farm in Chongwe on reasons that it was acquired using ill-gotten wealth.
He sought to raise preliminary issues on the mistakes made by the ACC in one of its affidavits filed in the matter and why the Commission was acting on behalf of its employees when they were sued in their individual capacity.
In an affidavit in opposition to notice of motion to raise preliminary issue sworn by Nkwachi Kanyimbo an acting chief legal and prosecutions officer, the ACC said the notice of motion to raise preliminary issue was incompetent before court as it could only be raised in matters commenced by way of writ.
Kanyimbo clarified that the application for misjoinder was made by the acting director general and investigations officers, and not the Commission.
He said Chitotela was ordered by the court to respond to the application for misjoinder on May 11, 2022 but to date he has deliberately ignored or disobeyed the court’s order and the application for misjoinder remains unopposed.
“An investigator needs to have reasonable suspicion in order to restrict or seize property suspected to be proceeds of crime. There is no requirement by law that the investigator should have proved that the property is a proceed of crime,” said Kanyimbo.
“We pray that the court exercises its jurisdiction to dismiss Chitotela’s preliminary issue and consider the application for misjoinder by Muchula and others as being unopposed.”