THE Mast Newspaper reports that the Anti-Corruption Commission has suspended investigations officer Chipampe Manda who exonerated Minister of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya by testifying against the commission’s position in a matter where the latter is facing corruption-related charges.
According to ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono, who confirmed the development, Manda has been suspended from duty pending a disciplinary hearing by the Commission for bringing the institution’s name into ridicule.
“Yes, I can confirm that he’s been suspended on account that the evidence he gave in court was contrary to the commission’s position. He’s been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing,” said Moono.
The Anti-Corruption Commission received a backlash from the public who questioned its competence in fighting corruption following Manda’s testimony in court.
Manda told the court that according to his conclusion, as an investigations officer, the K5,542,500, being the total value of the property which was purchased by Dr. Chilufya’s company Henry Courtyard, which is alleged to have been acquired illegally was less than the income of his (Dr. Chilufya) legitimate sources of income.
Manda told chief resident magistrate that he assessed all the bank statements relating to Henry Courtyard limited and summed up the figures for the period December 2016 and April 2019, including cash withdrawals.
He said the analysis was to establish whether Dr Chilufya had the financial capacity to acquire the properties from his known legitimate sources of income.
“I established Dr. Chilufya being a Minister of Health and member of parliament for Mansa Central, the positions come with emoluments. I analyzed his earnings from December 2016 to April 2019 and the earnings in the stated portfolios were K7,760, 852. 25,” Manda explained.
“Dr. Chilufya was a director and shareholder in Henry Courtyard limited, so I decided to analyse the financial activities relating to the company by looking at the bank statements. I summed up the cash withdrawals on the accounts at Cavmont, ZANACO, INDO Zambia Bank and the total was K19,631,757.”
Manda said the total sum of the properties Dr Chilufya is alleged to have acquired through proceeds of crime was K5,542,500 for the purchase of shares in Samfya Marines, Spark guesthouse and a boat, which was way below the income from his genuine business and his salary.
“The K7 million related to his earnings as minister and MP which covers the period December 2016 to December 2019 and from PEMC more than K2 million. As a witness of facts, my conclusion relating to the allegations were that the total value of the assets the minister is accused of were less than his legitimate sources of income. His income was more than what he is alleged to have acquired through proceeds of crime,” said Manda.
In cross-examination by defense lawyers Tutwa Ngulube and Jonas Zimba, Manda confirmed that Dr Chilufya’s earnings were more than what he was accused of obtaining corruptly.
Manda affirmed that after establishing that Dr Chilufya’s earnings were more than what he was alleged to have criminally possessed, he could not conclude that the minister had committed a crime.
When asked if he had established that Dr Chilufya had obtained a loan worth K2 million before he was indicted for corruption related charges, Manda responded in the affirmative.