Police arrest 2 RTSA directors for theft

Police on Friday arrested RTSA human resource manager Roderick Mulenga and transport manager Joseph Mwaba for theft by servant.

Lusaka Province police commissioner Nelson Phiri confirmed the arrests, but said he could not give any details because the matter was being handled by Force Headquarters.

RTSA managing director Zindaba Soko said he was unable to discuss what led to the arrests of his directors because he was in a meeting.

Meanwhile police last night also picked up about five IT employees from their houses, charged them with theft before detaining them at Lusaka Central Police.

According to a whistleblower, an audit team has found glaring evidence of financial mismanagement at the Road Transport and Safety Agency, ranging from fake trips involving top management, to unretired imprest.

Last week, the audit team went to verify proof of procurement of various construction materials meant for the new office-building car park, but did not find the materials.

An employee then informed the auditors that they had seen the said construction material at one of the houses for the directors, and that after the search, arrests were made.

“Police came on Friday but no one knew what was happening because they were in plain clothes. They picked up Mr Mulenga from the office and they also picked up Mr Mwaba, we don’t know where they found him. They took them to Central police and they were there for the weekend and were only released on police bond yesterday,” a source narrated.

“Those findings in the audit report have caused panic at RTSA. There is a big scandal here and people are suffering. It’s true those two directors are accused of theft by servant because there was a search at their houses and we are told that computers and some building metal fabrics were found. You can even ask the police about this and they will confirm with you.”

The source revealed that some more arrests were made last night.

“The IT employees who were arrested are Chitundu Musonda, Michael Chaogopa, Pama Malembeka, Simon Sichone and Pamela Mwaba. They were arrested yesterday between 23:00 hours and 01:00, the police flying squad visited their houses and arrested them. We don’t even know who was showing the officers where they live,” the source narrated.

The source added that the IT employees are accused of stealing computers.

“They are accused of stealing computers belonging to the World Bank which were being kept at Lumumba office. But now everyone is scared of what is going on here. The junior employees are being affected yet the top management should be answerable. Mr Soko is trying to avoid these investigations and already he has advised that this matter is handled internally,” said the source.

Commissioner Phiri referred queries to Police Spokesperson Esther Mwata Katongo who said she needed more time to get details.

Police Spokesperson Esther Mwata Katongo – Picture by Joseph Mwenda

“I didn’t know about it when you first called, it’s Headquarters C1 handling it. But you ask Katongo she will give you the details, if she doesn’t have them let her get to C1 they will give her the information,” said Phiri.

And Soko said he could only comment an hour later when he would be done with a meeting.

“I am with people now and I cannot discuss those matters. If you call me after an hour we can talk,” said Soko.

Senior RTSA managers have been implicated in the on-going audit, where some collected and signed for travel imprest but never made the trips. In some cases the directors signed for money covering a week’s trip but returned within a day without retiring the unused imprest.

In other cases, the directors have been found wanting for employing without following due procedure while others have been accused of using their office influence to employ relatives.

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