HOUSING and Infrastructure Development Minister Vincent Mwale and former Copperbelt minister Mwenya Musenge say they have already paid back the monies they received after the dissolution of Parliament in 2016, contrary to an affidavit that stipulated they were both still owing and asking for more time.
Mwale explained in an interview that he paid back the funds three weeks ago, while Musenge said he finished his balance a few days ago.
On January 5, 2021, 43 of the 63 former Cabinet ministers and their deputies, who received emoluments after the dissolution of Parliament in 2016, asked the Constitutional Court to allow them to pay back the money they were supposed to refund the State in monthly installments of K10,000 for those serving as ministers and MPs and K5,000 for those who have retired.
The 43 lamented that they were unable to settle the assessed amounts in a lump sum due to a variety of factors and wanted to pay the debt in monthly installments as they had family and other financial commitments.
This was according to an affidavit in support of summons for an order for settlement of assessed amounts in installments filed by their lawyer Bonaventure Mutale, State Counsel.
Mwale and Musenge were also listed among the 43.
But Mwale yesterday wondered why he was also on the list when he had already paid.
He was responding to a tweet from one of the readers on News Diggers’ official Twitter page, who tweeted: “I didn’t expect Vincent Mwale on this list. Please, Vincent, so many people who believed in you, you are letting down.”
In reply, Mwale said: “I paid back the money about three weeks or so ago. I wonder why I am on this list. I don’t [know] who made this submission on my behalf.”
Mwale also confirmed in a phone call that he paid back the money about three weeks ago.
He added that he would call the lawyer representing the others to find out why he was also on the list.
Meanwhile, Musenge equally confirmed in a separate interview that he had also finished paying off his balance.
“Is my name part of those? It’s news to me because for me, it is a foregone matter. I have paid the difference [and] settled the entire amount in full. I paid the final amount on January 5, . I paid K26,100. Unless there is anything remaining. Unless they are going to say, ‘no, there is another balance of K20,000 or K30,000. I don’t know. But if it is a K56,000…, one, a K30,000 was paid for me by the president of the Green Party (Peter Sinkamba) and a K26,000 I was able to pay on my own,” said Musenge.
Sinkamba had made part payments for salaries received by Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo and Musenge after Parliament was dissolved in 2016 as a favour to the duo.
Sinkamba disclosed that he had paid K30,000 towards Musenge’s debt and K25,000 towards Kampyongo’s debt with a promise to clear both balances on or before January 5, 2021.
On December 7, 2020, the Constitutional Court ruled that the 63 former cabinet ministers and their deputies, who received emoluments after the dissolution of Parliament in 2016 should pay back over K54,000 each to the State within 30 days.
Constitutional Court Registrar Dorcas Malama said in a ruling that the assessed amounts ranging from K54,889 to K61,756 individually, but altogether amounting to over K3.7 million, should be paid within 30 days from the date of the ruling.
Others have also paid their debt in full.