Witness testifies in Prof Chirwa’s case

Clive Chirwa
Clive Chirwa

Zambia Railways Limited Director for Human Resources and Administration, Davies Mukonkela, today told the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court how he was directed by former Finance Director, Regina Mwale, to make arrangements for the payment of K72,282,210 to Vallies Properties for accommodation of former Zambia Railways Chief Executive Officer, Clive Chirwa.

This is in a matter in which Prof Chirwa, 58, of plot 206/101 Ibex Hill in Lusaka, and his Former Finance Director, Regina Mwale, urged 50, of 5 Chavuma Road, Highridge, in Kabwe, are charged with three counts of corruption and abuse of authority of office contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

Mr Mukonkela, who testified before Principal Magistrate, Obbister Musukwa, said  according to the contract of employment for Prof Clive Chirwa, he was entitled to a full furnished company house in Kabwe with two domestic servants and that the company was supposed to meet the costs of electricity, water, and telephone bills and in absence of a house he was entitled to 20 per cent of his monthly basic salary, which was K140 000 per month.

He said at the time of Prof Chirwa’s appointment, the house he was supposed to occupy was not ready as it had to be renovated.

The witness said his supervisor, former Finance Director, Regina Mwale, on December 12, 2012 gave him a tax invoice of K72, 282,210 to initiate the process of payments to the Finance Director towards the payment of accommodation of Prof Chirwa to Vallies Properties.

He told the court that he acted on that instruction and wrote to the Finance Director and they made payments to Vallies Properties for January to March, 2013.

And when asked by the defence lawyer during cross examination to specify the dates when the house that was meant for prof Chirwa was ready for occupation, Mr Mukonkela said it was ready for occupation on May 23 2013 due to renovations that had to be undertake.

And another witness from PACRA, Mukelabi Ndiwali, said Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) visited PACRA to find out if Clavel Incorporation Zambia Limited was registered.

Mr Ndiwali said when he checked the data base he found that it was registered on August 25 2005 with Clifford Chirwa and Chasongo Asnart Chirwa were the shareholders.

Prof Chirwa is charged in the first count with failure to disclose interest contrary to Section 28 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act number 3 of 2012.

It is alleged that Prof Chirwa on dates unknown but between November 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012, in Lusaka, being a public officer, namely CEO of Zambia Railways Limited, did recommend at the Zambia Railways Board meeting that Clavel Incorporation Limited, a company in which he is an officer and shareholder, be given a contract to train employees of the railway company without disclosing his interest.

In count two, Prof Chirwa and Ms Mwale are charged with abuse of authority of office contrary to Section 21 (1) a of the ACC Act number 3 of 2012.

It is alleged that the duo, between February 1 and March 2, 2013, in Kabwe being public officers, namely Chief Executive Officer and Finance Director respectively of Zambia Railways Limited, jointly and whilst acting together did abuse authority of their offices by authorising the payment of K72,282, 210 to Fallsway apartments for Chirwa’s accommodation, an amount which was beyond his entitlement.

The act is said to be arbitrary and prejudicial to the rights and interests of the Zambian government.

The duo are in the third count also charged with abuse of authority of office contrary to section 21(1) a of the ACC Act number 3 of 2012.

The matter has since been adjourned to February 5, 25 and 26, 2013 for continuation of trial.