FORMER Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) Board chairperson Mark Chona has testified that former ZRL chief executive officer Clive Chirwa refused to vacate the Fallsway Apartments because he had already lowered his standards by staying there.
Mr Chona said Chirwa had told him that he would not seek alternative accommodation as directed by the board.
He said Chirwa informed him that he could not find alternative accommodation but would continue staying at Fallsway where ZRL was paying more than K72,000 per month.
According to Chirwa’s contract, he was entitled to 20 per cent of his basic salary, which was K28,000, for his accommodation.
Chirwa, 58, is jointly charged with former ZRL director of finance Regina Mwale for abuse and failure to disclose interest.
Mr Chona, 79, told Lusaka principal magistrate Obister Musukwa that after Chirwa was introduced to the board on December 18, 2012, he, among other things, recommended that his company, Clavel Incorporated Limited be engaged to train key ZRL staff without declaring interest.
Mr Chona said the board expressed surprise at the discovery of single-sourcing and the fact that Chirwa did not declare interest.
He said the board also later discovered that Chirwa was staying at Fallsway without the board’s approval, and was paying more than K72, 000 per month which was unbudgeted for.
Mr Chona said when the board asked Mwale about the tenancy agreement, she told them that there was no such document but that invoices were being used for payments.
He said that the board noted that even the days when Chirwa was not staying at the apartment, ZRL still paid.
Mr Chona said at a board meeting of February 12, 2013, the board recommended and directed Chirwa to move out of the apartments and find cheaper accommodation.
He said he instead got a letter from Chirwa informing him that he would not move out of Fallsway because he had looked for alternative accommodation but there was nothing suitable for him as he had already lowered his standards.
Mr Chona said he later charged Chirwa with various offences for his failure to comply with the board’s directives.