Former Zambia Railways Chief Executive Officer Clive Chirwa says appearing in court for three years has been horrific.
The Lusaka Magistrate on Monday acquitted Professor Chirwa for abuse of authority of office while his former Director of Finance Regina Mwale was convicted and will be sentenced on Tuesday Morning.
In an interview, Professor Chirwa said he sacrificed a lot to come and serve Zambia as a Good Samaritan but that he ended up being arrested for a crime he did not commit.
Professor Chirwa said, “It has been horrific, it has been three years of coming to court for something I believe it didn’t do and I have got the Director of Finance whom i believe didn’t do anything wrong.”
He added, “Anyway we will see about that. It is hard to come as a Good Samaritan to come and help and only to end up in this position. I will call up a news conference and I will elaborate, even though Ms Mwale did that, it wasn’t her fault because it was authorised by the PS, it is really sad that she has remained in there.”
Yesterday, Prof Clive Chirwa was acquitted of two counts of abuse of authority and failure to declare interest.
Professor Chirwa’s co-accused former ZRL director of Finance Regina Mwale was however convicted for authorizing payments for his (Prof Chirwa) accommodation at Fallsway Apartments which was above his threshold.
Magistrate Obister Musukwa in his more than two hours judgment set Prof Chirwa free saying the prosecution failed to prove
their case against him.
Mr Musukwa said there was no evidence directly linking Prof Chirwa to having instructed management at ZRL to make payments for his accommodation but Mwale authorized the payments in disregard of directives from the ZRL board.
Prof Chirwa ,60, was alleged to have between November 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 as Chief Executive officer ZRL recommended at the Zambia Railways Board meeting that his company, Clavel Incorporated Limited be engaged to train key Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) employees without disclosing interest.
Prof Chirwa together with Mwale, 51, was alleged to have abused the authority of their office.
They allegedly authorized payment of K289, 128.84 to Fallsway Apartments of Lusaka for accommodation for the benefit of Prof Chirwa without following laid down procedures an act which is prejudicial to the rights and interest of ZRL, a public office.
But Mr Musukwa said according to the evidence in his 76 paged judgments, there was no evidence linking Prof Chirwa to having directed ZRL management to make payments at Fallsway Apartment for his accommodation in disregard of the board.
Mr Musukwa however said that Mwale went against the directive of the board to make the payments instead of finding alternative accommodation for Prof Chirwa despite having been instructed by the board to refurbish Prof Chirwa’s house in Kabwe or find a cheaper accommodation in an event that the house was not ready.
“I am satisfied that A2 (Regina Mwale) abuse her authority and I therefore convict her accordingly” Mr Musukwa said.
He said that the court could not make an assumption that the fact that Prof Chirwa was CEO, he therefore instructed management to pay for his accommodation adding that the court had a duty to guide against wrong assumptions by the prosecution.
Mr Musukwa said it was for this reason that he was convicting Mwale because there was evidence to show that she made payments in disregard of the board’s directive.
How however noted that the payments for Prof Chirwa’s accommodation for a month were in excessive seeing the country’s economy.
On his failure to disclose interest, Mr Musukwa held that the prosecution failed to prove a case against Prof Chirwa because he only failed to disclose interest but no further action was taken regarding the same (he was not awarded the contract).