A 55-year-old clergyman of Lusaka’s Chawama area has been dragged to court for allegedly stealing over 40,000 Canadian dollars entrusted to him by a medical researcher to buy a piece of land.

Innocent Harelimana, who has been charged with theft by agent, has however denied the charge.

In this matter, it is alleged that between September 24 and October 19 last year in Lusaka, Harelimana stole 48,000 Canadian dollars cash, which was entrusted to him by Josie Christa Daniella Joe to buy land.

It is alleged that the said money was given to him to purchase a 4,000 hectares of land.

And when the matter came up for plea before chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale, Wednesday, Harelimana walked to the accused dock with a Bible in his hand when his case was called.

After the charge was explained to him, the accused pleaded not guilty.

The matter comes up on October 23, 2019 for commencement of trial.

Meanwhile, a 40-year-old senior clerk of court at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court, has denied stealing K200,000 cash which came into his possession by virtue of his employment.

The said K200,000 is alleged to have been an exhibit in another matter where former Banc ABC employer and murder convict Precious Longwe was charged with theft.

In this matter, Didie Kangwa of House No. 2, off Alick Nkhata Road in Kalingalinga, has been charged with one count of theft by public servant.

Particulars of the offence allege that between November 21, 2017 and April 9, 2018 in Lusaka, Kangwa, being a person employed in the Judiciary as a senior clerk of the court, stole K200,000 cash which came into his possession by virtue of his employment, the property of the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

But when the matter came up for plea before magistrate Kate Sakwanda, Wednesday, Kangwa denied the charge.

The matter has been adjourned to October 8, 2019 for commencement of trial.

In another court, Kangwa is jointly charged with five other court officials and two businessmen for allegedly trafficking in 24 kilograms of cocaine and theft of the same.

The 24 kilogrammes of cocaine was an exhibit in another matter involving Sydney Mwansa and two others but went missing at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court complex.

Kangwa was also one of the accused persons in a matter where suspended Lusaka magistrate Maggie Tentameni and others are facing three counts of abuse of authority, removal of property under lawful seizure and stealing of 34.0 kilograms of ephedrine valued at K1, 870,000, to which they all pleaded not guilty.

The said drugs were seized from Beatrice Saili at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport as she arrived from India.

Saili was arrested, taken to court where she was tried and eventually sentenced.

The State, however, entered a nolle prosequi in respect of Kangwa.