Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cops arrest Rupiah's propagandists

Cops arrest Rupiah's propagandists
By Roy Habaalu
Thu 10 Jan. 2013, 14:00 CAT

POLICE yesterday detained former information minister Lt Gen Ronnie Shikapwasha on two counts of abuse of authority of office.

The joint investigative team also arrested and detained former Zambia Daily Mail deputy managing director Davis Mataka, consultant Ngande Mwanajiti and MMD propagandist Chanda Chimba III.

Chimba was the first one to arrive at the former task force offices, followed by Mwanajiti and Lt Gen Shikapwasha who arrived at 10:25 hours. After about an hour, the three were driven straight to Woodlands Police Station where they were formally arrested.

Before taking his details, Chimba pleaded to talk to one of the police officers.

"Ba Bwalya can I declare something? It's not for the media, it's for your ears only. Kalya ka arrangement ba Bwalya kalya ka arrangement (that arrangement Mr Bwalya, that arrangement)…you know me I am a father," Chimba was heard pleading with a police officer before being taken into the holding cell.

Earlier, Mwanajiti told journalists not to struggle taking pictures of him as he positioned himself and was the first one to enter the cells.
Mataka was brought straight to Woodlands Police Station in the company of his lawyer Sunday Nkonde.

Investigative team public relations officer Namukolo Kasumpa said Lt Gen Shikapwasha was arrested for alleged abuse of authority of office and Chimba for two counts of unlawful printing and publication contrary to the Laws of Zambia and possession of property suspected of be proceeds of crime contrary to the forfeiture of proceeds of crime law.

Particulars of the offence are that Lt Gen Shikapwasha being a person employed in the public service as minister in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services arbitrary and in disregard of defamation laws and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) editorial policy did direct board management to air the Stand up for Zambia documentaries an act prejudicial to the rights and interests of Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, a public body.

"In the 2nd count, Rev Lt Gen Shikapwasha arbitrary and in disregard of professional legal advice not to broadcast Stand up for Zambia committed the government to pay all liabilities and legal fees emanating from the broadcast of the said programme an act prejudicial to the rights and interest of ZNBC and the government of Zambia," said Kasumpa.

On Chimba, particulars of the offence are that he unlawfully did cause to be printed or published newspapers called Stand up for Zambia and News of Our Times which were not registered at the office of the director National Archives of Zambia.

Chimba was also found in possession or control of an accumulated total of K611,440,433.12, money he paid for private media and printing services to Zambia National Broadcasting Services Corporation, Muvi Television and the Daily Mail Limited respectively which is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Mataka and Mwanajiti were jointly charged for corrupt acquisition of public property and revenue and unlawful printing and publication contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

"Particulars of the offence being that the Zambian Newspaper Limited, Mr Davis Mataka alias 'John Allan Mugwida' and Ngande Mwanajiti alias 'George Banda' jointly and whilst acting together did fraudulently and unlawfully divert K195,000,000 public media support fund from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services for the unlawful production and printing of a private newspaper called The Zambian without it being registered with the director at National Archives department," Kasumpa said.

They were all later released on police bond and will appear in Court soon.

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