Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Date set for ruling on Ex-Defence Chiefs case

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File: Former Zambia Army Commander Lieutenant General Wisdom Lopa (left) and Zambia National Service Commander Major General Anthony Yeta
File: Former Zambia Army Commander Lieutenant General Wisdom Lopa (left) and Zambia National Service Commander Major General Anthony Yeta

The Lusaka magistrate’s court has set September 18, 2013 as the date for ruling on whether three former defence chiefs have a case to answer in a matter in which they are charged with theft by public servant involving K1.5 million.

Three former defence service chiefs have pleaded not guilty to theft by public servant involving K1.5 billion.

The money was in question was meant for defence operations during and after the 2011 tripartite elections won by the Patriotic Front.

The three are former Zambia Army commander Wisdom Lopa, former Zambia Air Force commander Andrew Sakala and former Zambia National Service commander Anthony Yeta.

Detective Solomon Lukhele, 37, told principal resident magistrate Wilfred Muma that he made up his mind to arrest and charge the three because they did not use Government funds for the intended purpose.

He said during cross-examination that although the money was meant for the anticipated pre and post-election violence, he never heard of any sporadic violence in the country.

Mr Lukhele, who said there were no guidelines on how the money was supposed to be used, however, said it was obvious that the former defence chiefs were supposed to account for it because it was public funds.

It is alleged that the trio between September 16, and September 21, 2011 in Lusaka stole K1,500,000 belonging to the Government.

Several State witnesses have testified before Principal Magistrate Wilfred Muma how the money in question was transferred from the Office of the President Special Branch to the ZAF account so that it could be disbursed to the Zambia Army, ZNS, ZAF and Zambia Police Service.

This followed instructions from former Zambia Security Intelligence Service (ZSIS) director-general Regis Phiri and finance director Abel Lungu after a meeting was held at ZSIS and agreed that the money be dispatched in anticipation of violence during and after the elections.

Magistrate Muma set September 18, 2013 as the date for ruling on whether the trio have a case to answer after the State closed its case.
Lopa, Sakala and Yeta, who are on a K50, 000 bond each, have all denied the charge.

14 COMMENTS

  1. so basically these Ex Generals are being tried because there was no violence during the last elections.This case is a no brainer! Were troups or police not deployed in areas to make sure there was no violence and if yes they were paid for being on duty weren’t they? didnt they use fuel to get to places? didn’t they require ammunition,tear gas canisters etc….Just because there was no violence doesnt mean the money was not spent.An example of a bad kaponay style witch -hunt. NEXT!

    • classifying everything as intelligence is a tried and tested trick that people in security use to cover their misdeeds and it works and sadly may work in this case as well

    • .. Let me simplify this to you.. they might have pocketed the monies, .. these guys failed to explain how the money was used otherwise they would not have faced such humiliation. No smoke without fire =D

  2. The officers are supposed to accounter for the money if they used it on those errands by way of receipts for fuel. But is there any documentation of how they used the money to pay allowances and purchase fuel. If there is non then trouble. Approach these issue with objectivity.

  3. I see a serious disregard for the command and control structure in this case. The Army Commander chairs Joint Security Meetings and support to implement what is agreed upon should be sent through his office. Second, by rank he was the most senior. Why then was money sent through a junior officer. The military command does not work like that. In addition, the former ZAF commander has no evidence that he passed on money to his colleagues. Other than the ZAF commander I would liberate the others taking also into consideration what his wife said when they had a squabble at a police station…” I will tell Sata what you have done”.

  4. The Generals supposed to retire the monies with receipts to support their transactions. Any purchase done in government or reputable organizations must be supported by receipts and in some cases three quotations are required to avoid an issue of single sourcing.

  5. ADCs to these three men should also be questioned. Usually, the commanders do not directly handle the money but entrust it with their ADCs (who usually misappropriate funds knowing they will not take the blame directly). Check out ADCs and you might have your answers.

    • kekekeke!!!!!! Kanjimaano, heheheehe!, you have cracked my ribs with that question. ati why are they still in uniform if they are ex service chiefs. lolest! madness does not go beyond that

  6. Three Supreme Justices and Three Armed Commandents vs a 37 year police. This was supposed to be taken into a military court and not an open court.
    Generals what next.

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