FORMER Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary, Samson Phiri and journalist, Chanda Chimba III, were yesterday warned and cautioned by the Government Joint Investigations Team.
Dr Phiri was warned and cautioned for alleged corrupt acquisition of public property and revenue while Mr Chimba was cautioned for the offence of possession of property suspected of being proceeds of crime.
The duo was interrogated for more than two-and- half hours and only came out of the premises around 16:04 hours.
Asked by journalists why they had been summoned, Dr Phiri and Mr Chimba referred all queries to their lawyer, Major Lisita of Central Chambers who also refused to give any comment. Meanwhile, former Information and Broadcasting Services minister Ronnie Shikapwasha is today expected to appear before the Government Joint Investigations Team at 14:30 hours.
Acting public relations officer for the team, Christopher Chibanku said Dr Phiri and Mr Chimba were cautioned in connection with the publication of newspapers and a television documentary. He said, between January 1 and November 1, last year, Dr Phiri acquired and diverted K175 million from the Ministry of Information. Mr Chibanku told journalists that the resources were used in the publication of 'The Zambian' which was a privately owned newspaper.
"The two newspapers namely 'Stand Up For Zambia' and 'News Of Our Time' were published by the Zambia Daily Mail and he paid a total of cash of K310, 500, 000 for the publications.
"The money paid is suspected to be proceeds of crime," Mr Chibanku said.
In addition, Mr Chimba produced a documentary called 'Stand Up For Zambia' on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and paid K172, 940,433 to ZNBC.
Earlier, Dr Phiri arrived alone at the former Taskforce on Corruption offices around 13:50 hours. He was met by a flash of cameras from journalists before he proceeded into the offices. Mr Chimba arrived after five minutes and jokingly told the journalists that they should put him on their front page newspapers.
"Put me on front page tomorrow and make your newspapers sell," he said as he proceeded into the offices.
However, Mr Chimba and Dr Phiri who seemed confident upon arrival came out of the premises looking deflated and refused to talk to journalists as they referred queries to their lawyer. Meanwhile, Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha is today expected to appear before the Investigations Team for interrogations.
Gen Shikapwasha yesterday arrived at the former Taskforce on Corruption offices in a Toyota Land Cruiser around 14:25 hours. Upon arrival, Gen Shikapwasha was met by his lawyer Hobday Kabwe and proceeded to the offices. However, the trio left the premises about 14:33 as they were told to come back today.