Friday, June 05, 2009

ACC officer testifies in ex-DEC officials case

ACC officer testifies in ex-DEC officials case
Written by Maluba Jere
Friday, June 05, 2009 2:48:41 PM

THE Lusaka Magistrates Court yesterday heard that warn and caution statements were recorded from former DEC commissioner Ryan Chitoba and his co-accused persons because they failed to give satisfactory explanations over the use of funds from the forfeiture and operations accounts.

Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) senior investigations officer Foster Hamuyube told Chief Resident Magistrate Charles Kafunda that when he recorded warn and caution statements, he also discovered that the two accounts were very active with K500m being deposited every month by the government but that there was no proper documentation to show how it was being spent.

This is in a case where Chitoba, his deputy Jacob Koyi and his assistant Charles Ndulumina are charged with theft of public funds amounting to about K344.8 million.

Particulars of the offence are that Chitoba, 53 of house number 6857 in Olympia Extension, Koyi, 53 of Plot 483/40A Linda Road in Makeni and Ndulumina, 37, of Plot 220 Chainama, stole K344,878,420 cash belonging to the Republic of Zambia between May 17, 2006 and April 30, 2007.

Hamuyuba told the court that Chitoba actually confirmed having given undisclosed amounts of millions to his assistant Charles Ndulumina but failed to give documentation or reasons to justify his actions.

He also said when Ndulumina was cautioned, he opted to remain silent.

“After it became clear that Koyi who was in charge of documentation of the accounts activities could not provide any further documents backing the various withdrawal of monies at the forfeiture and operations accounts with blessings from Chitoba, I decided to record warn and caution statements from them so that they could exculpate themselves,” he said.

Hamuyube said after investigations he also observed that the said accounts were opened using different forms obtained from the bank other than the ones government institutions used provided by the government itself and had Koyi and Chitoba’s signatures.

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