Chilufya Didn’t Corruptly Acquire Properties He Is Being Prosecuted For - ACC Investigator
AN investigations officer at the Anti-Corruption Commission has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that Minister of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya did not corruptly acquire properties which he is being prosecuted for.
Chipampe Manda told the court that according to his conclusion, as an investigations officer, the K5,542,500, being the total value of the property which was purchased by Dr Chilufya’s company Henry Courtyard, which is alleged to have been acquired illegally was less than the income of his (Dr Chilufya) legitimate sources of income.
This is in a matter where Dr Chilufya is facing four counts of possessing property suspected to be proceeds of crime involving more than US$200,000, which was used to purchase shares in the Samfya Marines, land on which Spark guesthouse is erected, including a boat for transportation.
Manda told chief resident magistrate that he assessed all the bank statements relating to Henry Courtyard limited and summed up the figures for the period December 2016 and April 2019, including cash withdrawals.
He said the analysis was to establish whether Dr Chilufya had financial capacity to acquire the properties from his known legitimate sources of income.
“I established Dr Chilufya being a Minister of Health and member of parliament for Mansa Central, the positions come with emoluments. I analysed his earnings from December 2016 to April 2019 and the earnings in the stated portfolios were K7,760, 852. 25,” Manda explained.
“Dr Chilufya was a director and shareholder in Henry Courtyard limited, so I decided to analyse the financial activities relating to the company by looking at the bank statements. I summed up the cash withdrawals on the accounts at Cavmont, ZANACO, INDO Zambia Bank and the total was K19,631,757.”
Manda said the total sum of the properties Dr Chilufya is alleged to have acquired through proceeds of crime was K5,542,500 for the purchase of shares in Samfya Marines, Spark guesthouse and a boat, which was way below the income from his genuine business and his salary.
“The K7 million related to his earnings as minister and MP which covers the period December 2016 to December 2019 and from PEMC more than K2 million. As a witness of facts, my conclusion relating to the allegations were that the total value of the assets the minister is accused of were less than his legitimate sources of income. His income was more than what he is alleged to have acquired through proceeds of crime,” said Manda.
In cross-examination by defense lawyers Tutwa Ngulube and Jonas Zimba, Manda confirmed that Dr Chilufya’s earnings were more than what he was accused of obtaining corruptly.
Manda affirmed that after establishing that Dr Chilufya’s earnings were more than what he was alleged to have criminally possessed, he could not conclude that the minister had committed a crime.
When asked if he had established that Dr Chilufya had obtained a loan worth K2 million before he was indicted for corruption related charges, Manda responded in the affirmative.
He confirmed that according to the documents filed with the administrator general by Kimula General Dealers, it was indicated that the tittle deeds of Spark guesthouse be issued under Henry Courtyard but he does not know who made the payment.
When asked if there was anything illegal about the transaction of the property to Henry Courtyard, Manda denied.
Manda was further asked by Ngulube whether he knew that Dr Chilufya was running Samfya Marines as a tenant before he purchased the place, and he responded in the affirmative.
When asked if he had evidence to show that the accused possessed US$200,000, Manda denied adding that the said money did not exist.
Asked further if he would connect the K270,000 used to purchase 2000 shares in Samfya Marines to any known crime, Manda denied, adding that there was no concealment of the shares neither were there suspicious activities in the purchase of the same.
Manda confirmed that the boat was bought by Bellchiz which is legally registered in Zambia and was involved in the importation of cars, among other things, and it was not illegal for them to import a boat.
He agreed it was dangerous to conclude that the boat was purchased by Dr Chilufya.
And when asked by Zimba if Dr Chilufya had the capacity to acquire the property he is accused of possessing illegally, Manda confirmed that Dr Chilufya was capable of purchasing the property in question.