Africa-Press – Zambia. Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS) Commissioner-General, Fredrick Chilukutu, has revealed that the correctional institution has suspended 12 officers for corrupt-related offences.
Mr Chilukutu said the institution, instituted an inquiry, especially in the recruitment process, which has been concluded and has revealed some elements that the officers misconducted themselves.
He said the correctional organisation has taken drastic measures and that so far 12 officers have been suspended for corrupt practices. “It is interesting to learn that members of the public can go and expose themselves through paying officers to have their people recruited.
That is being an accomplice in a corrupt matter or practice. It calls for those members of the public to be found and arrested because that is aiding corruption,” Mr Chilukutu said.
The Commissioner-General noted that the institution is currently reviewing the cases and has warned that if the evidence will be overwhelming, the affected officers will be dismissed from the service.
He disclosed that the institution has interacted with relevant authorities, including the police and is presently looking for those members of the public so that such behaviours are discontinued.
“We have instituted an inquiry which has come to conclusion and have found elements from among us that misconducted themselves and collaborated with the members of the public. We are taking very drastic measures and so far we have suspended 12 officers.
We are reviewing their cases and when we have concluded and found that evidence is overwhelming, they will definitely be dismissed,” he said. And Mr Chilukutu has described the Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility murders that shocked the nation last year, as the lowest point in the history of the reformatory institution.
Mr Chilukutu said the institution did what was supposed to be done under the circumstances and as far as the system was concerned, one of the suspect inmates portrayed all the good traits of a well-behaved and well-reformed inmate.
“We did not know his heart was something else. I think we say we mourn with our citizens over what transpired. It is still a very sad occurrence and very disturbing even to talk about it,” Mr Chilukutu said.
He, however, said that measures have been instituted to discipline erring officers who were at the formation where the inmate was domiciled at the time of the crime.
Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility came into the public eye last year following a series of murders that were committed by allegedly serving inmates and is currently the case in the courts of law for trial.
Meanwhile, ZCS Commission Chairperson, Evaristo Kalonga, notes that the law will take its course against officers associated with the Mukobeko Maximum facility murder saga. Mr Kalonga said what happened at the country’s biggest correctional facility is crime and officers involved must be disciplined.
“Officers involved in the Mukobeko Maximum Correctional facility murder saga, the law will take its course. What happened at the highest security facility was criminal and such officers need to be disciplined,” Mr Kalonga said.
The ZCS Commission Chairperson, who was responding to the media, explained that discipline has many facets that include dismissal from service and demotion in rank among others, depending on the gravity of the case. Mr Kalonga has also said the institution will not entertain corrupt acts and engage in partisan politics among the correctional officers.
He has since announced that an audit will be carried out to ascertain the allegations that some officers who could have graduated from Nyango Training School did not have the requisite qualifications or maybe corruption was involved.