Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Supreme Court Upholds Convictions of Four Found Guilty of Corruption, PeP President Calls it an Act of Injustice

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The Supreme Court of Zambia has recently passed judgement on an appeal by four individuals who were convicted of corruption by the Magistrate’s Court in 2010. The convictions of former Finance Minister Katele Kalumba and former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Stella Chibanda, were upheld. However, the case of Faustine Kabwe and Aaron Chungu, the directors and shareholders of Access Financial Services Limited, has attracted particular attention and outrage due to the perceived injustice of their convictions.

Access Financial Services Limited was a bank founded by Kabwe and Chungu in the early 1990s which quickly grew in prominence in Zambia. One of the bank’s clients was the Zambia Security Intelligence Services (ZSIS), a national institution responsible for domestic and foreign intelligence. In 2010, Kabwe and Chungu were convicted of corruption due to a $20 million payment that their bank made to two US-based security companies from a ZSIS bank account.

However, the legitimacy of the convictions has been called into question. The Director of Public Prosecutions testified that there was no wrongdoing by Kabwe and Chungu in the case. Despite this, the Supreme Court upheld their convictions and sentenced them to five years in prison.

PeP President Sean Tembo has spoken out against the ruling, calling it a great injustice. He points out that the payment was authorized by officials at ZSIS and that the bank had sufficient funds for the transaction. He also notes that no ZSIS officials have been charged with any wrongdoing in the case.

Mr Tembo suggests that the failure to overturn the convictions of Kabwe and Chungu may be due to the potential cost to the state of doing so. He also raises the possibility of corruption within the legal system, stating that the case has passed through five administrations without resolution.

According to PeP President Sean Tembo, who has reviewed the evidence against Kabwe and Chungu, there appears to be little wrongdoing on their part. The background of the case involves the Zambia Security Intelligence Services (ZSIS), a national institution responsible for domestic and foreign intelligence. After Fredrick Chiluba left office in 2002 and Levy Mwanawasa took over, Mwanawasa engaged in a corruption fight against the plunder of national resources that occurred during Chiluba’s reign. It was discovered that members of Chiluba’s regime were using ZSIS bank accounts, including one maintained at Access Financial Services Limited, to siphon money out of the country.

Mr Kabwe and Mr Chungu, who founded Access Financial Services Limited in the 1990s, were convicted of corruption due to a $20 million payment made by their bank to two US-based security companies from a ZSIS bank account. However, Tembo argues that the payment was authorized by ZSIS officials and the bank had adequate funds to make the payment. No ZSIS officials were charged with any offenses.

Mr Tembo alleges that the conviction of Kabwe and Chungu is an act of injustice that has persisted through five presidential administrations, as giving them justice would be costly to the state. He calls for the release of Kabwe and Chungu and for the state to return Access Financial Services Limited to them.

32 COMMENTS

  1. Sean Enock Tembo seems to be defending this case very well after the fact. Anyway as one Danish social theorist and philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said `There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true`

    • Sean Enock Tembo, give us a break. How come these same “saints” are alleged to have attempted to rig elections in Malawi.
      UTM Party secretary-general Patricia Kaliati made the claims in a televised rally in Blantye that former Minister of Finance, Dr. Katele Kalumba, former intelligence chief Xavier Chungu and Lungu’s Special Assistant for Politics, Kaizer Zulu entered the country through Mzimba at Jenda border with Zambia.
      Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has downplayed claims by opposition Tonse Alliance during the final campaign rally on a Saturday that three top Zambian nationals have come in the country to allegedly rig the fresh presidential elections in favour of incumbent Peter Mutharika.

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  2. Sean Enock Tembo seems to be defending this case very well after the fact. Anyway as one Danish social theorist and philosopher Soren Kierkegaard said There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what is not true the other is to refuse to believe what is true

  3. Sean Tembo is an empty tin useless and childish opposition.. attention seeker
    Sean Tembo is also wanted in Botswana for theft and corruption

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  4. SET

    If your observations are correct then that it is injustice for sure. Access bank was merely carrying out instructions given by its client.
    Too bad it had to end in this manner. 5 years for an offense not committed. What a tragedy!

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    • Henry – You too are a crook hance your support for PF crooks.
      Where is Access bank today? These were banks run by crooks where in the world have you seen a new bank start handling transactions for Intelligence wing from nowhere!!

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    • A Bank that is abetting illegal transactions should not be allowed to operate, If you are old enough you will have heard of the Bank of Credit and Commerce (BCCI), It was shut by the collective action of the USA and UK for similar transactions

  5. I would rather get a review or critique of the judgement from a reputed lawyer. The following from the author is down right embarrassing: “According to PeP President Sean Tembo, who has reviewed the evidence against Kabwe and Chungu, there appears to be little wrongdoing on their part.” Lets try to do better inn 2023.

  6. These people were convicted by the Subordinate Court but appealed conviction and sentence to the High Court which upheld the lower Court JUDGMENT. And the Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the High Court. All this is predicated on evidence on record. So critics should read the Judgments of all the Courts.

  7. Thieves always defend fellow thieves. A similar accountant thief defending fellow accountant criminals. Ati ” I analyzed the evidence..” where did he analyze the evidence from and who gave it to him? Where the accuser and accused there when the evidence, he was analyzing, presented? In short, this system of making up scenarios into nice Hollywood like fantasy stories should remain in 2022. We have been feed a lot of such stories and we now know them very well

  8. What records generated in the course of business did Sean Enock Tembo examine in the Katele Kalumba case? Tembo is making up things here.

  9. Hh is an evil Man. Be warned.

    This is not a normal hangover. I am convinced upnd thugs spiked my drink on new years at chicagos

  10. Zambians are being given sufficient warning about Sean Tembo. He should never be elected to any public office.

  11. This is absolute stupidity, Sean Tembo is not a lawyer, he is a conman who is wanted in Botswana for serious fraud. He better just shut up lest we deport him to Gaborone! Chiluba ran a seriously kleptomaniac charade that nearly bankrupted the state. His tribal bigotry wrecked havoc to the very fabric of our nationhood. In any country, just imagine, how could a “sexologist” be appointed minister of Finance? It’s all because he like Chiluba was Luapulan Katangese. Let these stinking thieves rot in jail, this is Zambia not Ituri jungle.

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    • @12 Jangwamuloty, so much vile and hatred against the people of Luapula!! Ministry of Finance like any Ministry is run by technocrats so it matters less what academic qualifications the Minister at the helm has as long as they are educated enough, willing to learn and can provide credible leadership which Katele also did and contributed well towards graduating us to the HIPC completion point! For your own information majority of the population in Zambia trace their roots to the DRC that is peoples of ; Luapula, Copperbelt, North Western, part of Western, Muchinga, Northern, nothern part of Central and part of Eastern Provinces!! So,stop calling the people of Luapula Katangese because over 60% of the Zambian population should then be labelled as such!! CHILUBA WAS NOT TRIBAL THAT IS WHY…

    • ST is merely a one man briefcase party like Chilufya Tayali who has no members …he can wake up in the middle of the nite start typing on Face-book post it without consulting anyone.

  12. Just wondering how FTJ got acquitted because these people were his pawns. What I have come to understand is that when our judges are caught up in between a case they stay mute until it’s convenient. Take the example of the Finance Bank case of 1996 whose judgement was passed 3yrs after the bank was sold to Atlas Mara whose property were seized for an offense they didn’t commit. Why did the Courts take over 23yrs to adjudicate the case? Our judiciary is a laughingstock

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  13. ST is just writting writing without known facts………….blowing cold air as usual…..

    This is not about sucsessive GRZs fearing costs………….

    If anything , they going to be acquitted by the lungu regime who did not care about any costs, as long as they supported lungu

    ……….there must be very strong evidence

  14. Sean Tembo does not mention Serviour Chungu former IG Intelligence boss (probably related to Faustin Chungu) who was controlling SITET account in Zambia and London. This is where the money was being siphoned into their pockets (prophesied by late Sata). Remember Serviour Chungu was a fugitive for a while before returning home after change of regime. These are the same people who are still guilty today. It was delayed jail as it will be with KZ, needs to grey up first.

    • Sean Tembo is a bent accountant…if I was him I would keep quiet on this matter he is a small boy and where was he in 2010. These chaps were very influencial Katele Kalumba was also involved in another case and convicted. That name Chungu is well known in the ZISS linked to the infamous Xavier how ST can stand up and start defending them is beyond me. Even going to the extent of calling the Judiciary corrupt forgetting he has court cases with them…very careless and shortsighted boy.

  15. Chungu defies call out
    LT – December 22, 2008
    Former Executive Director of the defunct Access Financial Services, Aaron Chungu, says he will not appear before the Task Force on Corruption for questioning.
    Mr. Chungu who has confirmed receiving a fresh call-out from the Task Force, says he can only comply if the notice was from constitutionally mandated law enforcement agencies.
    He said at a media briefing in Lusaka that he is ready to comply to call-out notices from agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Commission, the Anti Corruption Commission, and the police.
    Mr. Chungu said this is because such institutions are constitutionally mandated law enforcement agencies.
    And Task Force spokesperson,Victor Makayi, told ZNBC news that the Task Force will issue a comprehensive statement on…

    • Mr. Chungu said this is because such institutions are constitutionally mandated law enforcement agencies.
      And Task Force spokesperson,Victor Makayi, told ZNBC news that the Task Force will issue a comprehensive statement on the matter later.
      Last Friday, the Task Force issued call-outs to former Access Financial Services Directors, Faustine Kabwe and Aaron Chungu for questioning.
      Mr. Chungu and Mr Kabwe are currently facing charges of Corruption and Abuse of Authority of Office and Plunder of Public Resources.
      They are jointly charged with second Republican President, Frederick Chiluba.
      [ZNBC]

  16. Xavier Chungu turns himself in
    LT – December 3, 2008
    Zambia’s self imposed fugitive and former inteligence chief Xavier Chungu has handed himself to the Zambia Police Service.
    Both police service spokesperson Boniface Kapeso and Task Force on Corruption Chairperson Maxwell Nkole confirmed in seperate interviews that Chungu was caught at the Lusaka International Airport by alert police officers after they identified him.
    Kapeso explained that Chungu has been on wanted list for a long time and he is currently in police custody.
    Chungu fled Zambia about four years ago following allegations of plunder of national resources during the 10 years he served as intelligence chief.

  17. I ALWAYS WONDER AT THE MANSIONS BUILT IN LUSAKA AND WONDER HOW THEY WERE BUILT IN A POOR COUNTRY LIKE ZAMBIA.
    NOW I THINK I KNOW.
    66 MILLION DOLLARS IS AN UNCONSCIONABLE

  18. A Bank that is abetting illegal transactions should not be allowed to operate, If you are old enough you will have heard of the Bank of Credit and Commerce (BCCI), It was shut by the collective action of the USA and UK for similar transactions

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