9 January 2013

Zambia: Shikapwasha, Four Others Summoned

FORMER Information minister Ronnie Shikapwasha, his former permanent secretary Sam Phiri and three others have been summoned to appear before security wings today over alleged abuse of close to KR700,000 (K700 million) public funds.

They face possible arrest as they had been warned and cautioned in August last year.

Propagandist Chanda Chimba III, who was the producer of the highly-defamatory 'Stand-Up for Zambia' programme, has also been summoned to appear before the joint Government investigative wings today.

Former Zambia Daily Mail deputy managing director Davis Mataka and Ngande Mwanajiti, a consultant, will also appear in connection with the probe on the Public Media Support Fund fraud.

They are alleged to have fraudulently diverted funds from the Ministry of Information for the production of a private newspaper, The Zambian.

Investigative wings spokesperson Namukolo Kasumpa said in Lusaka yesterday those summoned were expected to appear at the offices in Lusaka's Woodlands area for questioning at 10:00 hours today.

In August last year, the investigative wings recorded a warn and caution statement from Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha for the role he played in airing 'Stand Up for Zambia' on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) television.

Gen Shikapwasha was alleged to have directed the board and management of ZNBC to air 'Stand-Up for Zambia' programme.

Mr Chimba III and Dr Phiri were also warned and cautioned over the propaganda documentaries and newspaper publication.

The propagandist was cautioned for the offence of being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime and unlawful publication of a newspaper.

It was alleged that Mr Chimba III paid the Zambia Daily Mail KR310, 500 (K310, 500,000) suspected to be proceeds of crime for the publication of Stand Up for Zambia and News of our Time.

He paid KR172, 940 (K172, 940,433) to ZNBC for the documentary 'Stand Up for Zambia.'

Dr Phiri had been warned for the offence of corrupt acquisition of public property and revenue in the sum of KR175, 000 (K175, 000, 000) from Government between January 1 and November 1, 2011 and used it for the publication of the privately-owned Zambian newspaper.

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