April 21, 2004

Court discharges Chiluba

A Lusaka magistrate's court has discharged second Republican president Frederick Chiluba and former intelligence director-general Xavier Chungu of all 65 counts of theft by servant involving K19 billion. Principal resident magistrate Mwiinde Siavwapa freed the duo when the State entered a nolle prosequi by saying that he was discharging them because the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)'s office had decided to discontinue the matter under section 81a ( 2 ) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Chiluba had been summoned to the Task Force offices in Woodlands where he was warned and cautioned on four counts of abuse of office. He was questioned on diversion of State funds said to have been used in the purchase of Manchinchi Bay in Siavonga and that he allegedly gave a house on plot number 44 A Mutandwa Road, Roma, to lawyer Eric Silwamba while State counsel Vincent Malambo is alleged to have benefited from a house on plot number 377A Reedbuck Road, Kabulonga. The lawyers were allegedly offered the houses belonging to the State as payment for the services they rendered to Chiluba in a citizenship case. Chiluba and Chungu also allegedly gave K135 million of State funds to Lake Hotels and paid K145 million to Mr Malambo and Mr Silwamba's law firm which later forwarded the money to Lake Hotels for the purchase of Manchinchi Bay. Chiluba has not yet been formally charged on the fresh allegations. (The Times of Zambia, Ndola)

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