The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has recorded a warn and caution statement from Minister of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya for allegedly possessing property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
And ACC sources have explained to News Diggers the number of properties that Dr Chilufya is accused of fraudulently possessing.
In a statement, ACC corporate affairs officer Jonathan Siame stated that the ACC had been conducting investigations on Dr Chilufya and that the commission had since recorded a warn and caution statement from him.
“Following media inquiries on the above subject matter, the Anti-Corruption Commission wishes to confirm that it has been conducting investigations against Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya on alleged possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime,” stated Siame.
“The Commission has since conducted interviews with Dr. Chilufya and a warn and caution statement has been recorded. Investigations in this matter are still on- going, however, further details cannot be divulged as this may jeopardise the investigations.”
Dr Chilufya has been a subject of ACC investigations since February 2020, but sources say President Edgar Lungu has been uncomfortable with the Minister’s rise in popularity, hence giving a green light to the Anti Corruption Commission to secure his arrest.
According to impeccable sources at the ministry of Lands, ACC is investigating how Dr Chilufya procured the following properties in form of land: In Mansa property number Man/6628, Man/261, Man/2175, Man/3749, Man/8290, Man/6628, Man/73, Man/8288; In Lusaka, property number L/37909/ MF/30608, Lusaka/Ln_52062/65, Lus/Ln_1194/12, Kafue/Ln_27221/73, F1459a/6 and in Samfya property number Sam/955.
And Sources at ACC have also disclosed that the ACC is investigating Dr Chilufya’s connections to a single sourced government contract awarded to Lilypeck International of Dubai by the Ministry of Health.
“On this one, when the Minister was quizzed during interviews at ACC he told us that he is not responsible for awarding contracts. But ACC is looking into the question of how the same procurement team at the Ministry was assembled, how the transfers were done and who was behind all that. The thing is that there are several such single sourced contracts from Dubai-based companies and this is a matter that we are looking into,” sources said.
The sources further revealed that ACC was investigating the ownership of some Villas in Makeni which had been under construction.
“On that one, the housing apartments are linked to him, but it appears there is no change of ownership that has been done yet. He has refused ownership himself and there was a claim that a named manufacturing company that made a huge Covid donation to his ministry owned the properties. Some directors at that company were called in for questioning but they also denied ownership, so it’s a whole matrix that is unfolding,” the sources narrated.
And the sources explained that the ACC was also investigating the minister’s links to the purchase of several cold storage stores across the country bought from Luscold.
“The investigation there is looking at the possibility that the minister used someone senior at Luscold to buy cold storage butcher facilities in Lusaka, Eastern Province, Luapula and elsewhere. There are close to 10 butcheries that have been bought and it is believed that he minister now owns these,” the source explained.
“Again, the minister has said he knows nothing about that ownership also but we believe there is a link. Even in Mansa, the refurbishing of his hotel there is also a subject of investigation. Apart from that, there is also the issue of cars. RTSA records have shown that he owns more than 10 vehicles in his name and all those have been subjected to investigations. So far he is cooperating, although he feels there is a witch hunt going on,” said the source.
But other sources within government said President Lungu was behind the ‘persecution’ of Dr Chilufya.
“You must understand that the President himself told Dr Chilufya before that he was his preferred running mate for 2021. In fact, the President made an indication that he was willing to handover the mantle to Dr Chilufya in an event that he does not stand in 2021. But somehow along the way, some elements within PF went and poisoned the man saying he was positioning himself to unseat the President,” the source narrated.
“What is happening to Chilufya cannot happen without express authority of the President. These allegations against the Minister, if you look at them, they are not new. Where was the ACC? What has triggered the ACC to start asking which car the minister owns and which plot he has bought in the past. They are active now on him because the President has said so. But it’s a witch hunt. The President has betrayed Dr Chilufya and we know this because he has previously confided in some of us that he wanted to work with Chilufya, he wanted us to work with him. Whether the minister has done something wrong or not, what is clear is that he has been singled out for humiliation because the President is uncomfortable about his (Chilufya’s) popularity. if you ask me, it’s an unfair move from the President, especially that he is pretending not to have anything to do with it.”