The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) says it has delayed to investigate bribery attempts on Human Rights Defenders Coalition ( HRDC ) executive member Billy Mayaya and Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda by Indian businessperson Chandra Shekhar More due to Covid-19 but assured that the complaint is being processed.
ACB principal public relations officer Egrita Ndala attributed the delays in starting the investigations to the virus pandemic which has affected the work routine at the graft-busting body.
She said the bureau is observing Covid-19 preventing guidelines, which among other things, included working in shifts and minimised contact.
“This is affecting the normal way of operating,” she said.
But Ndala assured that the complaints against Shekhar More, which was reported by Mayaya himself on December 23 2020, will be handled.
Ndala’s comments follows calls by HRDC to the bureau to speed up prosecution of some corruption related cases, including the More bribery attempts.
HRDC chairperson Gift Trapence and national coordinator Luke Tembo in a letter they signed sent to ACB, said they want the bureau to fast-track outstanding cases in terms of investigations and prosecutions.
“Equally important is the progress of the case of Sheikhar More for his alleged attempt to corrupt an HRDC official,” reads the letter.
In his complaint letter to ACB, Mayaya alleges that More called him on the phone to facilitate a reversal of his (More’s) immigration status following his deportation from the country.
In the letter, Mayaya alleges that More sent him a WhatsApp text message on December 22 seeking to be connected to Chimwendo Banda to reverse deportation status.
He said: “On the next conversation, he called me where I then pretended to be with the minister although I was alone. He was brazen enough to offer a payment of K60 000 000 for a reversal of his prohibitive immigration status.
“This amount would be given in equal instalments of K30 000 000 with the first given to me and the other half given to the minister.”
Mayaya said he decided to report the matter to the graft-busting body on the basis that payment of such an offer is an offence under the Corrupt Practices Act.
Minister Chimwendo Banda commended Mayaya for reporting the matter to the ACB.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :