SANAC executive director Gregory Chifire says Henry Kapoko’s 18 year jail sentence has sent a clear message to those who are involved in the theft of public money.

On Thursday, Choma-based magistrate Exnorbit Zulu, who was sitting in Lusaka, sentenced former Ministry of Health Chief Human Resources Officer Henry Kapoko and four others to 18 years imprisonment with hard labour each, for theft by public servant and money laundering involving over K6.8 million.

Commenting on the prison sentence slapped on the former senior civil servant, Chifire said there was need for citizens to learn from the experience.

“Henry Kapoko’s 18 year sentencing for stealing public money sends a clear message to those that are involved in theft of public funds. The case has taken long, but surely justice has been done. As Southern Africa Network Against Corruption (SANAC), we do not rejoice that a human being has been sent to prison. Prison life is bad, but stealing public money is worse because the effects on the public are far reaching. As a result of theft of public money, citizens are subject to untold suffering and even loss of life,” he observed.

“Recently we were told of the theft of medical provisions at the same Ministry of Health were Kapoko used to work. Public money is now being channeled to refund the donors of the equivalent sums at the expensive of meeting public needs.”

Chifire said the public now awaited for justice to prevail on President Lungu’s Special Assistant, Dr Simon Miti whose arrest and prosecution has been ordered.

“The Public now awaits how the wheels of Justice will roll on President Edgar Lungu’s Special Assistant, Dr Simon Miti who has been linked to this case. We are aware that Dr. Miti was fired by the late President Levy Mwanawasa. How he bounced back to public service despite an active cases in court shocked everyone. In the first instance, his appointment was not in order, just like the appointment of the Permanent Secretary at State House, Christah Kalulu, who is facing criminal charges at the subordinate court, is also not in order,” he said.

“One wonders whether the vetting system of the Office of the President is still effective. One of the requirements for appointment to public office is that the candidate must not have pending court cases especially of criminal nature as is the case with Dr Miti and Miss Kalulu. Here, justice shall be put to the test. We are yet to see how it pans out for Dr Miti. We are yet to see what shall come out of the subordinate court with regards to the Permanent Secretary at State House.”

He added that Dr Miti should resign in order to allow the law to take its course.

“We doubt if the President is given enough information on the candidates for the appointment to public service, otherwise he could not have done so. Now that Kapoko has been jailed, Dr Miti must resign in order to allow the law take its course unfettered'” said Chifire.