A LUSAKA magistrate's court has acquitted former Ministry of Health human resource officer Henry Kapoko and his uncle, Robert Kalimi of seven counts of theft and money laundering involving K374 million.
In acquitting the duo, the magistrate said there was dereliction of duty on the part of investigators, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in handling the matter.
Magistrate Rodgers Kaoma said when the matter came up for ruling that the prosecution had not established a case against the two and, therefore, acquitted them.
It was alleged that Kapoko stole K374, 344, 000 of public funds that came into his possession by virtue of his employment in the public service.
In count two, the duo was charged with money laundering for allegedly engaging in a business transaction that involved the amount indicated in count one.
The duo was alleged to have concealed the money by depositing it in a Rojo Trading Limited account held at Barclays Bank Mutaba House.
Mr Kaoma said the fact that the permanent secretary in the ministry at the time appended his signatures on bank sheets involving the payments was consent enough by authorities.
"I find that the prosecution failed to prove the case, also the fact that the PS then Simon Miti was not called to testify as one of the witnesses, gives me doubt. I, therefore, acquit them as the law requires," he said.
He said the law also required the prosecution to prove all the ingredients of the charges levelled against the accused persons.
The computer printout with minutes of the tender committee was not printed out as it should have shown everything.
Mr Kaoma added that there was no evidence that the two were signatories in the Ministry of Health.
He noted also that Kalimi was jointly charged on account of him being Kapoko's uncle which relation had nothing to do with the offences.
Kapoko and Kalimi were in count three charged with money laundering involving the same amount acquired from an alleged illegal activity, which was disguised by procuring property namely house number 25 Manda Hill Road in Olympia Park.
Count four alleges that the two did engage in money laundering activities also involving the above amount and which they disguised by depositing K99 million of the monies acquired from an alleged illegal activity into Hesaka bank account number 000087773070 at Finance Bank Longacres Branch.