20 November 2012

Zambia: Masumba's Diploma Not Withdrawn, Says Nipa Official

NATIONAL Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) deputy registrar, Musonda Chimya yesterday told a magistrate's court that a diploma awarded to Mufumbwe Member of Parliament Steven Masumba has not been withdrawn.

Mr Chimya, 45, who was testifying before Principal Resident Magistrate Wilfred Muma said to date, Masumba's diploma obtained from NIPA had not yet been withdrawn even if there was an Act that allowed the institution to do so.

This was during cross-examination by Masumba's lawyer, Mutakela Lisimba.

"Surely by mistake, Mr Masumba's name was erroneously cleared by the examination unit and I could say NIPA caused him to write the examination. I am not aware if NIPA has withdrawn Mr Masumba's diploma," he said.

Mr Chimya said upon examining the diploma, it was established that it was genuine as it bore signatures of the chairperson of the governing council and that of the executive director.

This is in a case in which Masumba, 31, is facing one count of obtaining pecuniary advantage through false pretences contrary to Section 309a (2)c of the Penal Code.

Particulars of the offence are that between December 1, 2005 and August 25, 2008, Masumba obtained employment for himself as an accounting officer at Lusaka Business and Technical College.

"The NIPA Act number 15 of 1998 empowers the board of studies to withdraw a certificate, diploma or any other award if after enquiry it is established that such certificate was given by mistake, error, fraud or by any other dishonest conduct," Mr Chimya explained.

He said he was not aware that Masumba was among students that had graduated until Anti-Corruption Commission officers visited him on June 30 last year in relation to the accused person's diploma qualifications.

And a witness yesterday narrated before Kabwe High Court Judge Elita Mwikisa how a 32-year-old man is alleged to have murdered his wife and buried her in a shallow grave before attempting to take his own life.

Given Mwiinga, 32, is alleged to have murdered his wife, Aphlonia Kalibo in January this year in Chibombo.

Aunt of the deceased Beatrice Kalibo, 50, said on the fateful day, she recalled being told that her son-in-law (the accused) was unwell and she went to see him at the time he was at the headman's house.

Ms Kalibo said Mwiinga appeared to be in pain and was not in a position to talk.

However, while at the headman's house, some people suggested that they go and check his house since niece had been missing from home.

"My lady the people we found at the headman's house suggested that it was important to check his house and his yard because it looked like my in-law had killed his wife and attempted to commit suicide by cutting himself on the throat," she said.

Ms Kalibo followed the group and as they checked the yard, they saw maggots coming out of the ground.

When they dug out the soil, they saw a hand of a human being.

The police were informed and went and exhumed the body, which was partially decomposed and half naked.

Ms Kalibo said although the body was decomposed, she was able to identify it as that of her niece.

Trial continues.

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