Former Zambia Air Force Commander Christopher Singogo, who was slapped with a six year-sentence by the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court in 2009 on charges of abuse of authority of office and theft by public servant, has asked the Lusaka High Court to declare that the sentence was too severe.
Singogo allegedly awarded a contract worth K486 million in violation of the then Zambia National Tender Board procurement procedures, thereby obtaining advantage and profit for himself.
Particulars of the offence were that, while Singogo was ZAF commander, he allegedly ordered purchase of two power generator sets at a cost of K110 million and later instructed that the same be installed at his two lodges in Lusaka and Livingstone.
And when the matter came up, Monday, a panel of three High Court judges, Mwila Chitabo, Sharon Newa and Catherine Phiri sat to hear Singogo’s appeal.
Singogo claims that his conviction was not supported by any evidence on record.
He said, through his lawyers Ganje Muhango and Kelvin Bwalya, that the lower court’s findings that he acted unilaterally and without authority or approval of the Zambia National Tender Board procurement procedure when he purchased two generators should be discredited.
Singogo argued that the arresting officer’s evidence that the minutes of the tender board were irrelevant in his investigations was a dereliction of duty on the part of the police because the minutes would have assisted in proving whether a meeting was indeed held over the purchase of two generators.
On the charge of theft, Singogo argued that there was no evidence to show that the two generators installed at his two lodges were bought using ZAF Money.
He further said the only way to distinguish the items, was through serial numbers but added that the prosecution did not produce such evidence in court.
Singogo asked the court to uphold the appeal but in an event that the appeal fails, the court should find that the sentence was too severe.
However, the State insisted the two generators installed at Singogo’s lodges were stolen and that the issue was adequately addressed by the lower court.