ANTI-CORRUPTION Commission (ACC) investigations officer Chipambe Manda yesterday shocked the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court when he admitted that the total value of assets that Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya is accused of acquiring through proceeds of crime, is less than his known legitimate income.
Manda testified that the total value of assets that the minister stands charged with as being proceeds of crime was K5,542,500, whereas his known legitimate earnings in the period under investigation exceeded K19 million.
A shocked Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate, Lameck Mwale wondered if the witness had made a mistake in his testimony and asked: “Are you saying the assets are less than his known legitimate income or more?”
Manda then insisted that it was less, prompting the Magistrate to ask, “Then what is wrong with that?”
And asked by the defence lawyers in cross examination if he still believed Dr Chilufya committed an offence based on his findings, the State witness said no, adding that the Health Minister had the capacity to acquire all the said properties from legitimate income.
On Wednesday the ACC investigations officer had testified that Dr Chilufya’s total earnings for the period 2013 to February 2020 from the National Assembly, PMEC and Henry Courtyard Limited was over K22 million.
Manda, 34, explained that from the National Assembly, Dr Chilufya earned over K7 million for the period November 2013 to February 2020; over K3 million from PMEC (Payroll Management and Establishment Control) for the period November 2013 to December 2019 and over K12 million for the period 2016 to 2019 from Henry Courtyard Limited in which he is a director and shareholder.
When the matter came up for continued trial yesterday, Manda told the court that after conducting investigations, he had to sum up the value of the properties as per indictment and analysed Dr Chilufya’s earnings for the period between December 2016 to April 2019.
He said he also endeavoured to establish the financial activities relating to Henry Courtyard Limited by looking at the bank statements.
Manda said the total value of Dr Chilufya’s assets which are suspected to be proceeds of crime is K5,542,500.
He however, said during the indictment period, around K19,631,757 was withdrawn from Henry Courtyard Limited’s accounts held with Zanaco, Indo Bank Zambia and Cavmont banks.
Manda said his conclusion after investigations was that the total value of assets the accused was alleged to have acquired through proceeds of crime was less than that of his known legitimate income during the indictment period.
In cross examination, defence lawyer Tutwa Ngulube asked Manda if after his findings, he still believed that Dr Chilufya committed an offence, Manda said no.
Asked if during his investigations he had established that apart from the amount of over K19 million which he had mentioned, Dr Chilufya had a K15 million loan which he got from Development Bank of Zambia, the witness said yes.
Asked whether the K15 million loan was part of the K19 million earnings he had mentioned, Manda said that was not clearly established.
Further asked if he had established that Dr Chilufya had obtained another loan of K2 million before the indictment period, Manda said yes.
Asked if he had a receipt to show that the accused paid K3 million to buy Sparks Guest House, the witness said no.
Further asked if he had evidence to show that the accused possessed the amounts in the indictments, Manda said no.
Manda further said Dr Chilufya cooperated during investigations and there was no belief that he hid anything.
Asked by another defence lawyer Jonas Zimba if he ever met the complainant or informant who complained against Dr Chilufya, the witness said no adding that a statement was not recorded from the informant.
Asked if his conclusion was that Dr Chilufya had the capacity to acquire the properties that he is accused of possessing illegally, Manda responded in the affirmative.
At this point Jonas asked, “if that was your conclusion, why are we in court today?”
However, the State objected to the question, saying that was for the arresting officer to answer and not Manda.
After cross examination, the State said they would not re-examine the witness based on his testimony.
They then applied for an adjournment to today.
Trial continues today.
On Wednesday, Manda had testified that on December 17, 2019, ACC received a report bordering on allegations of possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime against Dr Chilufya.
He said the allegations were that Dr Chilufya owned several properties in Mansa, Luapula Province, among them Samfya Marines and Tourism Services.
Manda added that ACC received the said report from an anonymous source.
He said he proceeded to go to PACRA to establish the directors and shareholders in Samfya Marines and Tourism Services and companies in which the minister had interest in.
Manda said it was established that Den Daas Investment Zambia Limited transferred 6,000 shares held in Samfya Marines and Tourism Services to Dr Chitalu at a consideration amount of US$200,000.
He said Leo Jonas Ngosa Investment Limited also sold 2,000 shares in Samfya Marines and Tourism Services to Dr Chilufya at the sum of K270,000.
Manda further testified a Mr Benjamin Kabamba sold Spark Guest House to Dr Chilufya at K3,000,000.
He said he also established that Dr Chilufya had acquired a 32 seater boat imported from Dubai by a company called Bellchiz General Dealers and Suppliers Limited.
This is a matter in which Dr Chilufya has been charged with four counts of possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
It is alleged in the first count that Dr Chilufya on a date unknown but between December 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017 in Lusaka possessed US$200,000 which was used to purchase 6,000 shares in Samfya Marines and Tourism Services Limited from Den Daas Investment Zambia Limited, property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
In the second count, it is alleged that Dr Chilufya on a date unknown but between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 in Lusaka possessed K270,000 cash which was used to purchase 2,000 shares in Samfya Marines and Tourism Services Limited from Leo Jonas Ngosa Investment Limited, property suspected of being proceeds of crime.
In the third count, it is alleged that Dr Chilufya on an unknown date but between January 1, 2018 and December 30, 2019 possessed K3,000,000 which was used to purchase Lot No. 365/366 also known as Spark Guest House situated in Mansa district of Luapula Property, property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
In the last count, it is alleged that Dr Chilufya on a date unknown but between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 in Lusaka possessed US$52,000 which was used to purchase a passenger boat also known as Transport 32 from Smart Own FZE of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.