9 November 2012

Zambia: Two Govt Workers Nabbed in K1.5 Billion Building Scam

AN ASSISTANT director and a quantity surveyor in Government have been arrested for alleged corruption and abuse of office involving more than K1.5 billion.

This is in connection with rehabilitation works at Livingstone Central Prison which were conducted by Choice Build Limited.

Emmanuel Ng'uni, 53, an assistant director for monitoring and evaluation in the Ministry of Home Affairs, has been arrested along with 33-year-old Mwala Katundu, a quantity surveyor in the Ministry of Works and Supply, Buildings Department in Lusaka.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) public relations manager, Timothy Moono announced the arrest of the two Government employees in a statement in Lusaka yesterday.

Katundu, 33, of Kamanga Overspill, was arrested for one count of alleged abuse of authority of office.

He is alleged to have certified that the rehabilitation works at Livingstone Central Prison were fully done when in fact not.

Mr Moono said Mr Ng'uni, of Nyati Close, Rhodes Park in Lusaka, has been charged with two counts of corrupt practices by a public officer and one count of abuse of authority of office.

"In the first count he was arrested for allegedly corruptly receiving K5 million cash gratification from Yolomino Mbewe, director of Choice Build Ltd, for facilitating the award of the contract and for payment of K869, 444,488.71 for the rehabilitation works at Livingstone Prison," he said.

In the second count, Mr Ng'uni was charged for abuse of authority of office for allegedly directing that a total amount of K700 million be paid to Choice Build without following laid down procedures.

In the third count, Mr Ng'uni was arrested on one count of corrupt practices for alleged corruptly accepting or receiving K86 million cash as an inducement or reward from Yolomino Mbewe for having facilitated the payment of alleged extra works at Livingstone Prison amounting to K700 million.

"Both Mr Ng'uni and Mr Katundu have denied the charges and are still in custody. They are expected to appear before the chief resident magistrate for plea soon," Mr Moono said.

The arrests come in the wake of investigations ACC had been conducting in the manner rehabilitation works at Livingstone Central Prison were conducted and certified complete.

Choice Build Ltd was in 2009 contracted by the Government to rehabilitate Livingstone Central Prison at a total sum of K3.4 billion.

Mr Moono said by the end of the purported execution of works, which was a contract period of 28 months, it was discovered that the works were incomplete and that the Government had paid K4.1 billion.

The additional money includes the K700 million which was not approved by the Government.

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