28 November 2012

Zambia: We Didn't Use K500 Million - Kabonde

FORMER Inspector General of Police Francis Kabonde yesterday said his administration did not spend K500 million which was allocated to the Zambia Police Service during the run-up to last year's presidential and general elections because need did not arise.

Mr Kabonde explained in a magistrate's court that four security wings received K500 million each for operations in the run -up to the general elections.

He said this was in the light of the security situation that was getting volatile. Mr Kabonde, however, said the money sent to the Zambia Police Service was not spent because the situation was not as anticipated even after the polls.

This is in a matter in which former Zambia Air Force Commander Andrew Sakala, former Zambia Army Commander Wisdom Lopa and former Zambia National Service (ZNS) Commandant Anthony Yeta are charged with theft by public servant involving K1.5 billion.

"We agreed that this money be sent to respective departments via the secretariat for special operations.

"Your honour, the money was to be used to assist run the presidential and general elections without any problems," he said.

The money was to be used for operations in an event that violence erupted during and after the elections.

Mr Kabonde told Lusaka Principal Resident Magistrate Wilfred Muma that it was agreed that the money be sent directly to bank accounts of the security wings.

The money was be accounted for and was to be spent through the Zambia Security Intelligence Service (ZSIS), which was the secretariat body.

He said he was a member of the central operations committee that comprised Sakala, Lopa, Yeta and then ZSIS Director General Regis Phiri.

Mr Kabonde recalled that towards last year's elections, on dates he could not recall, a meeting was convened at ZSIS headquarters.

It was resolved during the meeting that because of the prevailing security situation that was getting volatile, K500 million should be allocated to each of the four security wings.

"I remember that K500 million was sent to Zambia police bank account as agreed," Mr Kabonde said.

He explained that special operations meant mobilising officers, collecting information from members of the public, buying food for officers and to finance other security and defence related operations.

Mr Kabonde said the money which was given to the police was not used because the situation was not as anticipated. He said when he left office the money was still in the police account.

He said it was not the first time such money was being given to the security wings during the election period, adding that he did not know how the other wings used the said money.

On Monday, former air assistant to the commander John Mulenga testified that he was instructed by the ZAF director of finance to deliver K500 million to Sakala.

He said he was on two occasions asked to deliver parcels containing K500 million.

In this matter, it is alleged that the three former defence chiefs between September 16, 2011 and September 21, 2011 in Lusaka stole K1.5 billion belonging to the Ministry of Defence.

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