The Lusaka magistrate court has convicted former Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Kashiwa Bulaya of one count of abuse of office and two counts of corruption and subsequently sentenced him to five years imprisonment with hard labour.
Principle Resident Magistrate (PRM), Edward Musona, convicted Bulaya today and gave
him a five-year jail term for each of the three counts, which will however run
Bulaya was facing one count of abuse of authority of office by a public officer for
awarding a contract to a Bulgarian company called Buticco A1, without following laid
down tender procedures for his own benefit.
In the second count, Bulaya was charged with corrupt practices contrary to section
29(i) as read with section 41 of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act 42 of
1996, when he allegedly received K116.7 million cash as inducement to award Buticco
A1 a contract to supply medical drugs to the Ministry of Health.
The third count was that he corruptly received K913.4 million cash as gratification
from one Dr. Angelo Yousov, a chief executive officer of Buticco A1 contrary to the
same section of the ACC Act.
The three counts were said to have been committed on unknown dates but between 2001
Evidence adduced in court during trial in which the prosecution team called 21
witnesses, was that Bulaya chaired a meeting on August 13th 2001 at which he
introduced the subject of elexia 9, which he said was a food supplement of HIV/AIDS.
Further evidence was that the drugs were already in the country even when Bulaya was
introducing them to the meeting at the ministry of health.
The court also heard during trial that the accused was the only one to explain how
the drugs were purchased.
And the court also heard from prosecution witnesses that Buticco A1 was under the
directorship of Bulaya and Dr. Yousov, who were also directors of Anbul investments
It was also learnt that Buticco was operating in Zambia without being registered and
that Bulaya, his wife and two other business associates who were based in Sophia,
Bulgaria owned 200,000 shares each in Anbul investments.
Anbul investments limited, whose managing director was Bulaya at the time, was later
engaged by Buticco as its partner in Zambia.
Further evidence was that the ministry of Health paid millions of Kwacha to Buticco
A1, which paid Anbul from which Bulaya got payments to his account.
It was also heard that trends in the accounts of Anbul investments limited changed
upwards when the ministry of health started paying Buticco A1 for supplying the
On properties, the court heard that nine properties, in respect of houses and six
vehicles were linked to Bulaya through his companies and relatives.
Magistrate Musona said in the Zambian criminal justice system, a case must be proved
by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt for the court to determine judgment.
Bulaya did not call any witnesses ever since he was put on his defence on April
Later on August 22, 2006, Bulaya’s lawyers informed the court that they were
withdrawing from representing him after he (Bulaya) had insisted that he addresses
the court himself.
The matter was adjourned eight times to allow Bulaya open his defence but he did not.
In passing his two-hour judgment, magistrate Musona said he was convinced beyond all
reasonable doubt that the prosecution had proved its case against Bulaya.
The magistrate said in count one, it was clear that the conduct of the accused
person (Bulaya) was proper abuse of authority of office by engaging, without
following tender procedures, Buticco A1 to supply elexia 9, an HIV/AIDS food
supplement to the Ministry of Health.
He said it was true that Buticco did supply elexia 9 to the Ministry of Health
without any tender procedure in place.
“The whole transaction was orchestrated by the accused person himself by giving
business to his close business associate, Dr Angelo Yousov without declaring
interest, contrary to laid down tender procedures,” magistrate Musona said in his
Magistrate Musona said it was dangerous for Bulaya to engage Buticco A1 to supply
the elexia 9 and distribute it to the public when the same drug was not tested in
Zambia but was still undergoing testing in Bulgaria on animals and mice.
He further observed that there was no contract signed for the supply of elexia 9
The magistrate advised that public officers must serve the people with passion and
the way they would want to be treated themselves.
“I therefore find the accused person guilty of all offences as charged and I convict
him accordingly on each count,” he said.
“Would like to say something in mitigation?” he asked.
Bulaya answered, “No your honour”.
However, magistrate Musona said he would mitigate for Bulaya even if he refused do
so on his own.
He said he would exercise lenience on the accused person because he was a first
offender and had also served the people of Zambia a high position.
The magistrate said however, that people who commit offences such as those Bulaya
committed deserved to suffer a custodial sentence.
Magistrate Musona handed down a sentence of five years on each count to run
concurrently with effect from July 20th, last year when Bulaya was remanded in
Meanwhile, the court has granted an application by the Task Force on Corruption to
have some of the seized properties believed to belong to Bulaya forfeited to the
After the court rose, Bulaya’s brothers and sympathisers, urged him to be strong and
assured him that everything would be alright.
A smiling Bulaya was then held by his hands by his two brothers, who, under the
escort of two armed police officers, to a vehicle that took him to prison.