Investigations of suspected cases of corruption and related crimes are conducted by the Investigations Department of the Commission. The Department thus houses one of the Commission’s core functions. It is responsible for the investigation of corruption and other related crimes.

The Department’s principal functions are:

  1. To receive and investigate complaints of alleged or suspected corrupt practices
  2. Intelligence gathering and data analysis

Once the ACC receives reports of alleged or suspected corrupt practices the Director General authorises inquiries to be conducted. An investigation will then inquire into allegations leveled against the suspect/s to establish whether a crime was committed or not under the Act. When evidence is established, the Commission will proceed to arrest the suspect and arraign them before court and prosecuted. if evidence is not established the case may be closed or administrative action may be taken.

Thus, an investigation can lead to the following outcomes:

  • Prosecution of the accused once enough evidence of the commission of an offence is adduced and the Director of Public Prosecutions gives consent to prosecute the suspected offender under the AC Act;
  • Exonerating an accused person if there is no evidence that points to wrong doing;
  • Administrative action where evidence is insufficient to sustain a case in court or prove to the commission of an offence beyond reasonable doubt. In such a situation where evidence is insufficient, but the Commission believes that there is a loophole for corruption or an accused could have engaged in bad behaviour which cannot be proved to be corruption, an investigation can end up in a recommendation for administrative action and or a corruption prevention exercise, to seal opportunities of corrupt practices.
  • The Commission can also refer any case to any relevant agency that is deemed to have adequate authority to deal with cases that do not fall under the Commission’s jurisdiction. Some cases of outright fraud, theft, drug abuse and the like have been referred to the Zambia Police or the Drug Enforcement Commission for them to competently handle.

The Anti-Corruption Act No 3 of 2012 spells out what constitutes an offence of corruption for which the Commission will investigate and prosecute. According to the Act these offences include:

  • soliciting, accepting, obtaining, giving, promising or offering of a gratification in return for a favour. The Act defines gratification as any corrupt payment, whether in cash or in kind.
  • Misuse or abuse of public office for private or personal gain.
  • A public officer who lives beyond one’s past and present official emoluments. This offence suggests that a public officer must prove that the wealth they have acquired is within their past and present official emoluments. If they fail to provide an explanation of how they acquired such wealth or property, this may be deemed to have been corruptly or ill-gotten.

The Commission has since inception investigated a lot of cases of corruption falling within the Act as the Commission Annual Reports indicate.