The Mpika Magistrates’ Court has sentenced two former Ministry of Health officials to seven years imprisonment each with hard labour for corrupt practices involving theft by public servant.
Fundi Simwanda, a former Assistant Accountant, and Derrick Lukonde, a former purchasing and supply officer in the Ministry of Health, were found guilty on four counts of theft by public servant involving K30,000.
Resident Magistrate Felix Kaoma, in delivering the ruling, said the sentences would run consecutively with effect from August 29, 2019.
In count one, the duo, on unknown dates but between January 1, 2010 and June 30, 2010 in Mpika, jointly and whilst acting together, stole K5, 240 on Cheque No. 4597, the property of the Government of the Republic of Zambia which came into their possession by virtue of their employment.
They were each sentenced to 12 months imprisonment with labour on the first count.
In the second count, Simwanda and Lukonde were found guilty of theft of K5, 000 on cheque No. 4568, property of the government of the Republic of Zambia, for which they were sentenced to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour.
And in the third count, they were sentenced to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour after being found guilty of theft of K9, 988 on cheque No. 779, property of the government of the Republic of Zambia.
Simwanda and Lukonde were, in the fourth count, convicted of stealing K10, 400 on receipt No. 1429, also property of the government of the Republic of Zambia and sentenced to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour.
According to a statement issued by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) corporate affairs officer Jonathan Siame, the court further entered a civil judgment in the matter in which the duo was ordered to pay back the amounts stolen as stated in the individual counts.
The total amount to be paid to the State is K30, 628.