THE Lusaka High Court has entered a default judgment ordering former first lady, Maureen Mwanawasa and five other trustees of the Maureen Mwanawasa Community Initiative (MMCI) to pay back with interest the more than K1.2 million Global Fund grant they allegedly failed to account for.
The organisation accessed the funds through the Zambia National AIDS Network (ZNAN) and that in 2010, the Global Fund office of the investigator general conducted an audit of MCCI, where it discovered glaring irregularities in the management of the funds.
Deputy High Court registrar Charles Zulu ordered Dr Mwanawasa, Noreen Mapala, Wright Mumeka, Simon Sakala and Rosario Fundanga to pay back the sum of K1, 247, 713.90 after they failed to file a defence in court.
George Zimba, Beatrice Chola and Evans Banda suing in their capacities as ZNAN trustees had asked the court to order the six to pay back the money with interest which they have failed to account for.
The money was accessed by MMCI for HIV and AIDS related activities.
Mr Zimba , Ms Chola and Mr Banda said that ZNAN received US$36. 01 million for HIV and AIDS related activities and MCCI applied to access part of the money which it was given.
MCCI was advised to use the money on the qualifying programmes and was required to account for it as well as to present financial reports on a timely basis.
It was further required to file a statement of income and expenditure supported by copies of the documents but it failed to do so.
Mr Zimba, Ms Chola and Mr Banda accused the six of disbursing the funds without complying with the obligations and failed to keep proper books of accounts for its expenditure.
Mr Zulu on Tuesday entered a final default judgment following the defendants’ failure to file defence.
“And it is hereby adjudged and ordered that final judgment be and is hereby entered in favour of the plaintiff as against all the defendants for the following reliefs.
“An order for payment of the sum of K1, 247,713.90 being money received from ZNAN which the defendants have failed to account for,” Mr Zulu said.
Mr Zulu also ordered the six to pay interest on all sums due as well as costs of the proceedings.
Times of Zambia