Zambia: Peer-to-Peer institutional support to the Anti-Corruption Commission in Zambia


Peer-to-Peer Institutional Support to the Anti-Corruption Commission, Zambia
August 2021 – August 2024
IRZ Juniorpartner
Budget: 2 Mio. Euro
Projekt Leader: Jaakko Christensen
Junior Project Leader: Andreas Stüve
RTA: Mika Antosalo
Responsible at IRZ: Katharina Tegeder, Andreea Pop

IRZ implements as junior partner the project "Peer-to-Peer institutional support to the Anti-Corruption Commission in Zambia" under the leadership of HAUS Finnish Institute of Public Management. The implementation of this project - with a duration of 36 months and a budget of EUR 2 million - started in September 2021. 

Zambia is currently in the midst of comprehensive anti-corruption reforms and has made significant progress in this area over the past decade, according to the EU's assessment. However, corruption remains a major problem in the country.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Zambia was established in 1980 by an Act of Parliament, the Corruption Act No. 14 of 1980. The 1980 Act was repealed by the Anti-Corruption Act No. 42 of 1996, which in turn was repealed by the Anti-Corruption Commission Act No. 38 of 2010. This law was also repealed and replaced by the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012. 

The Anti-Corruption Commission is tasked with preventing corruption, investigating suspected corruption, and raising awareness of the fight against corruption in the country.

In this context, the project aims to strengthen the management and technical capacity of the ACC and improve its cooperation with other institutions involved in the fight against corruption.

The project is composed of four components: 

First component: Strengthening the anti-corruption legislation and legal framework 

The purpose of this component is to review and update existing legislation and to draft new legislation where necessary to respond to identified gaps in existing legislation. It also aims to enable the ACC to develop a strategic plan for the fight against corruption. 

Second component: Better detection, investigation and prosecution of corruption cases

The second component focuses on building the ACC's capacity to detect corruption crimes, conduct on-the-ground investigations, and prosecute corruption cases. A specific objective is also to build the capacity to prosecute high-profile cases and deploy forensic support.

Third component: preventing corruption by educating and raising public awareness

The third component aims to increase public confidence in the ACC and support the development of partnerships between the ACC and other public and private entities involved in the fight against corruption. In addition, anti-corruption training is planned for relevant stakeholders outside the Audit Office, with a particular focus on the Members of Parliament.

Fourth component: Network of public authorities involved in the fight against corruption

The final component aims to establish and strengthen cooperation among government authorities involved in the fight against corruption, which include, amongst others: National Audit Office, ZRA, Financial Intelligence Unit, Zambia Public Procurement Authority, and the National Assembly of Zambia.

Transformation Talk on Asset Recovery & Forfeiture

On May 15, 2024, a high-level "Transformation Talk on Asset Recovery & Forfeiture" took place at the University of Zambia (UNZA) in Lusaka, which was attended by the ambassadors of Germany, Finland and the European Union, the Director General of the Zambian Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Dean of UNZA, representatives of the Zambian National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Transparency International, GIZ and “German Cooperation”, as well as numerous students and lecturers from UNZA. In his opening statement, the Director General of ACC emphasized the importance of the anonymous online whistleblower system developed in cooperation with the Twinning project, which represents a major step forward in Zambia's fight against corruption.

Two representatives of the Twinning project from IRZ and the Finnish agency HAUS then had the opportunity to discuss the differences and similarities between the various legal systems and practical issues relating to asset recovery and confiscation in a lively panel discussion with representatives of the ACC, the NPA and Transparency International. The discussion focused in particular on whether confiscation of assets without prior conviction can be a useful measure in the fight against organised crime and corruption, and whether the confiscation of unexplained wealth – for example by applying rules on reversing the burden of proof – could be introduced. All participants agreed that asset recovery and confiscation are important aspects in the fight against crime and that this topic is of great importance.

The lively participation of the audience in the discussion and numerous questions posed by students, lecturers and Zambian civil society showed that the topic is of great importance in the current political discussion in Zambia and must be pursued further – also with the participation of IRZ as part of the Zambian Twinning project.