The Anti-Corruption B u r e a u (ACB ) yesterday arrested Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member of Pa r l iament (MP) for Mangochi East Constituency, Francesca Masamba, for alleged corruption.
ACB principal public relations officer Egrita Ndala, in a statement yesterday, said Masamba, a member of the parliamentary Public Appointments Committee (PAC), tried to solicit money from a candidate to influence the outcome of an interview in August this year.
It is alleged that the legislator tried to solicit the money from George Chiusiwa, whom PAC was set to interview for the position of director of the Office of the Directorate of
Public Officers Declarations (ODPOD). Ndala, in the statement, said the graft-busting body instituted investigations into the allegations following a report they received on the matter on August 24.
Reads the statement in part: “The ACB investigations established that Honourable Francesca Masamba solicited sums of money ranging from K1 million to K2 million in order to influence the decision of the committee. On November 5 [yesterday], ACB arrested Honourable Francesca Masamba.”
The ACB spokesperson said Masamba will likely be charged with corrupt use of official powers and misuse of public office which is contrary to Section 25 (1) and 25 B (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.
Meanwhile, Ndala said ACB will take the legislator to court after interrogations are done. to court after interrogations
In August, following revelations that Masamba was demanding money from Chiusiwa to be considered for the post, PAC barred her from participating in any of the committee activities, including the interviews.
At the time, PAC was conducting interviews for the said post following expiry of the contract of the then director Christopher Tukula. Chiusiwa was at the time Tukula’s deputy.
In an interview with the press at the time, Parliament spokesperson Ian Mwenye said Chiusiwa reported the matter to PAC chairperson Joyce Chitsulo who in turn reported the matter to Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara.
Earlier, Chitsulo also confirmed the matter and said the legislator was consequently removed from the panel when the interviews were being conducted.
The ODPOD is an independent public institution established under Section 6 (1) of the Public Officers (Declarations of Assets Liabilities and Business Interests) Act of 2013.
While the Act was passed in 2013, it came into force in 2014 to provide the legal and institutional framework of Section 8 (a) and Section 213 of the Constitution which requires the President, Vice-President, Cabinet ministers, MPs and public officers to declare their assets, liabilities and businesses upon assuming office