AN Investigations officer at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has testified before the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya’s total earnings for the period 2013 to February, 2020, from the National Assembly, PMEC and Henry Courtyard Limited were over K22 million.
Chipampe 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.
He was testifying in a matter in which Dr Chilufya has been charged with four counts of possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime, contrary to section 71 (1) of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of the 2010 of the laws of Zambia.
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.
When the matter came up for commencement of trial, Wednesday, Manda testified that on December 17, 2019, the 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.
“Investigations into the said allegations were authorised on December 27, 2019, by the ACC acting director general. A team of investigators was assembled to carry out investigations into the allegations,” Manda said.
He said that he then 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.
He revealed that he established from PACRA that there was, indeed, a company called Samfya Marines and Tourism Services, which was incorporated in 2006 and registered in Zambia.
“What I gathered is that at the time the company was registered, the shareholders in the company were Den Daas Investment Zambia Limited, Toptec Enterprises Zambia Limited and Leo Jonas Ngosa Investment Limited,” Manda said.
He 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.
Manda said that 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.
He further testified that a Mr Benjamin Kabamba sold Spark Guest House to Dr Chilufya at K3 million.
He said initially, Kabamba had borrowed K1,500,000 whose collateral was Spark Guest House from Dr Chilufya, but failed to pay back the money.
“Through my investigations, I established that Kabamba approached Dr Chitalu Chilufya to lend him K1,500,000, which Dr Chilufya advanced to him in two instalments. I established that Mr Benjamin Kabamba failed to pay back the money he borrowed from Dr Chitalu Chilufya. He approached Dr Chilufya and made an offer to sell Spark Guest House to him at K3,000,000. It was agreed that since he was already owing Dr Chilufya K1,500,000, the accused would only top up K1,500,000 for the purchase of Spark Guest House,” Manda narrated.
He said that 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.
Manda said that he established that the individuals behind Bellchiz General Dealers imported the passenger boat from Dubai on behalf of Dr Chilufya between August, 2017, and December, 2017.
He said after he established the possession of the properties, he endeavoured to find out if the accused had the financial capacity from his known legitimate sources of income to acquire the properties in question in that period.
Manda said he had established that Dr Chilufya was a Minister of Health and member of parliament for Mansa Central constituency.
He also said that the ACC wrote to the National Assembly and PMEC requesting for payments made to Dr Chilufya in terms of emoluments.
“The Commission did receive documents from these two institutions detailing the earnings that Dr Chilufya had from November, 2013, to December, 2019. Further in my investigations, I did establish that Dr Chilufya has stake in other companies in which he is either director or shareholder. I established that he was a director and shareholder in Henry Courtyard Limited, Henry Courtyard Hardware and Construction, Henry Courtyard Farms and Henry Courtyard Travel and Tours. Also, he was a shareholder in Samfya Marines and Tourism Services,” he added.
“Having looked at the earnings of the Minister, the earnings from National Assembly totalled over K7 million and K3 million from PMEC. Further, I assessed financial information relating to bank statements for Henry Courtyard Limited from which records from different banks where the company had accounts with. From Henry Courtyard Limited alone, it was in excess of K12 million from 2016 to 2019,” Manda disclosed.
The witness continues with his testimony today.
Earlier when the case was called around 09:00 hours, ACC prosecutor Clifford Moonga asked the Court to stand down the matter for two hours so that the prosecution could prepare their witness, who was already at court.
He added that the witness would be producing documents, which the State had not looked at.
Moonga apologised for the inconvenience.
But in response, defence lawyer Tutwa Ngulube said the defence was extremely disappointed in the manner in which the State was handling the matter.
He said they were aware that the Judiciary had issued guidelines, which relate to criminal and civil proceedings.
“We are in a state of emergency and the Court has a task to dispose off matters timely and speedily. The accused was arrested more than three months ago,” Ngulube said.
He said it appeared that the State was still fishing for evidence.
Ngulube asked the Court to give the prosecution team 30 minutes in which to prepare their witness.
Another lawyer, Jonas Zimba adopted Ngulube’s objection.
He added that it was a well known fact that orders of the court were to be complied with.
“After sitting yesterday (Tuesday), this court made a ruling and ordered that trial should commence today and time to commence business was agreed to 09:00 hours. From 14:00 hours [Tuesday] to 09:00 hours today (Wednesday), the State had ample time to prepare their witness. We appeared before you on July 16, 2020, to set today’s date and the subsequent dates. From July 16, to-date my colleagues have had enough time to prepare for this matter,” he said.
Zimba said if the State decided to abandon their task of preparing their witnesses on Tuesday, that should never be the Court’s fault.
He added that to disobey the Court’s order that trial commences on Wednesday morning, was disrespectful to the Court.
Zimba asked the prosecution to comply with the order and put their witness on the stand.
But in his ruling, Magistrate Mwale allowed the State’s application to stand down the matter to 11:30 hours.