5 January 2013

Zambia: Former Minister Muchima Arrested

FORMER Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Deputy Minister Elijah Muchima has been arrested.

He has been charged with one count of abuse of authority of office involving KR900,000 (K900 million).

Mr Muchima, who is MMD Ikeleng'i Member of Parliament (MP), has been charged with abuse of authority contrary to section 99, sub section 1 of Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

On December 24 last year, President Michael Sata dropped Mr Muchima from the position of deputy minister.

The MP is alleged to have misappropriated funds amounting to KR900, 000 meant for the new Mwinilunga civic centre.

North-Western Province police chief, Eugene Sibote confirmed the arrest of Mr Muchima who reported himself to Mwinilunga police station around 11:00 hours yesterday.

By press time, Mr Muchima was in police custody and was expected to appear in court on Monday.

"We do not dish out police bonds because the person in our custody is a former minister.

"We wait until somebody applies. For those who do not apply, we keep them in our custody," Mr Sibote said.

It is alleged that Mr Muchima introduced a contractor to the council to build a new civic centre the time he served as deputy minister in the MMD administration.

Build Tech Group of Companies was engaged to construct the civic centre while Urban Technics was picked as the consulting firm to supervise the project.

Mr Muchima is alleged to have introduced the directors at the two companies to the tendering committee of Mwinilunga District Council but to date nothing has been built.

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