ZRL says Prof Chirwa recommended his ‘firm’ to train personnel

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—A Zambia Railway Company Secretary has testified in the Lusaka Magistrate Court that Prof Clive Chirwa recommended to the board during a meeting that Clavel Incorporated Limited be engaged to train Zambia Railways personnel.

This is a case in which Prof Chirwa, 58, of plot 206/101, Ibex Hill, is charged with failure to disclose interest and abuse of authority of office contrary to the laws of Zambia.

Prof Chirwa, is in the first count charged with failure to disclose interest contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

In the second and third counts, Prof Chirwa   jointly charged with Regina Mwale, 50, of High Ridge in Kabwe and a former Zambia Railways Limited Finance Director for abuse of authority of office, after the duo allegedly authorised payment of K72,282,210 to Fallsway Apartments for Prof Chirwa’s accommodation, an amount which was beyond the professors entitlement, an act which is arbitrary and prejudicial to the rights and interests of the government of Zambia.

The second and third counts allege that the accused persons authorised the payment to Fallsway Apartments on unknown dates but between February 1 and March 2, 2013 in Kabwe.

The witness who is the company Secretey for Zambia Railways Limited, Patrick Musonda testified during continuation of trial before Resident Magistrate Obbister Musukwa that Prof Chirwa in his presentation during a special Board meeting on December 18, 2012 which was held at the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications recommended that Clavel Incorporated Limited should be engaged to train Zambia Railways personnel.

The witness said as per procedure prior to the commencement of any meeting any board member who has any interest in any of the items in the agenda should declare interest and that the declaration was supposed to be channelled through the company secretary.

When asked if anyone had declared interest in any of the items on the agenda of the meeting, he responded none of the members declared interest during the meeting.

He told the court that on March 22, 2013, the board directed management to give them a report pertaining to how Clavel Incorporated was single sourced and to also furnish them with the names of the company’s share holders.

The court heard that the directors who were in attendance during that meeting could not submit the report because it was only Prof Chirwa who had knowledge about the details of Clavel Incoporated but Prof Chirwa was not in attendance.

And when asked about Prof the Chirwa’s entitlements in the absence of accommodation, he said the professor was entitled to a 20 per cent of his basic monthly salary as housing allowance and that 20 per cent of his salary which was K140 000 was about K28 000.

The witness further told the court that in February 2012 the board issued a directive to Prof Chirwa to relocate from Fallsways apartment where he was staying as his stay there was unbudgeted for and was not in line with his contract and conditions of service.

And when asked by the defence lawyer, Mulilo Kabesha, in re-cross examination when the house where Prof Chirwa was supposed to be accommodated in Kabwe which was under renovation was ready for occupation, he said although he was not in charge of accommodation but according to the report he received it become habitable the first week of April 2012 two weeks after the board directed management to ensure that the house was refurbished.

The case has since been adjourned   to February 25, 2014, March 10 and 17, 2014 for continuation of trial and the accused persons bonds have been extended.