National Housing Authority (NHA) Director of Finance Charles Chewe has appeared in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court and denied allegedly awarding a contract to a debt collector without following applicable laid down procurement procedures.

In this matter, Chewe, 54, is facing one count of wilful failure to follow applicable laid down Procurement Procedures or Guidelines contrary to Section 34 (2) (b) as read with Section 41 of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012.

Particulars of the offence allege that on dates unknown but between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 in Lusaka, Chewe, being a person employed in the Public Service by NHA as Director of Finance did award a contract to Blackson Zulu, a Debt Collector without following applicable laid down procurement procedures or guidelines, a transaction which concerns the National Housing Authority, a public body.

And when the matter came up for plea before magistrate Felix Kaoma, Monday, Chewe pleaded not guilty.

The matter has since been adjourned to April 10 for commencement of trial.

The accused’s police bond has also been extended.