Scribes were paid for articles in The Zambian — witness


DIRECTOR of Finance at the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper, Bryson Mumba has submitted as evidence a statement of accounts showing that some journalists were paid allowances for their contributions towards The Zambian newspaper.


This is in a matter in which, former Permanent Secretary Sam Phiri, 56, former Zambia Daily Mail deputy managing director Davies Mataka, 44, and consultant Ngande Mwanajiti, 52, are charged with diverting K195,000 from the Public Media Support Fund under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.


The trio has pleaded not guilty to the charges.


When the matter came up for continued trial before Principal Resident Magistrate Aridah Chuulu yesterday, Mr Mumba said some journalists were paid allowances ranging from K3,000 to K3,600 while other allowances were for the talk time.


According to a statement of accounts he produced, the payments were from the K175,000 paid by the ministry to Zambia Daily Mail for the printing of a supplementary newspaper known as The Zambian.


Mr Mumba earlier produced three receipts of K10 million each and another for K9,400 which indicated that the money was for printing of a supplementary newspaper and staff welfare, among others.


He told the court that when he was visited by the Government Joint Investigation Team he prepared a statement of accounts highlighting how the K175,000 was utilised.


This was because it was his organisation’s policy to prepare a statement that reflected all the transactions relating to the service that it rendered to a client.


The statement also showed other expenditures such as water and electricity bills which were incurred during the printing of The Zambian newspaper on behalf of the ministry as a client.


Ms Chuulu adjourned the matter to September 30, this year to enable defence lawyers study the documents before they could subject Mr Mumba to cross-examination.