AN investigations officer at the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has told the court that former Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL), chief executive officer, Clive Chirwa was paid an additional K44, 000 per month as housing allowance instead of the K28, 000 he was entitled to.
During trial before Principal Magistrate, Obister Musukwa yesterday, Emmanuel Mwange said according to investigations that were carried out by the ACC, Chirwa was in the absence of a house only entitled to K28, 000 which was 20 percent of his salary but an additional K44, 000 was paid to Falls Way Apartment for the four months he stayed at the luxurious apartments.
Mr Mwange said that the K72, 282 which was paid for Chirwa’s accommodation per month for December 2012, January 2013, February 2013 and March 2013 was authorised by former ZRL director of finance, Regina Mwale in collaboration with Chirwa.
“Our findings were that there was a difference of K44, 282 on each of the four months. The figure your honour was above the entitlement of K28, 000 which the accused (Chirwa) was entitled to,” Mr Mwange said.
Mr Mwange, 32, said that according to the findings, Mwale authorised the payment working with Chirwa which was an abuse of authority.
He said that because of the same, the then ZRL board chairperson Mark Chona sent Mwale on forced leave to pave way for forensic audit.
Mr Mwange explained that on April 23, 2013 the ACC initiated investigations into allegations raised by the former ZRL board chairperson against Chirwa.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwange has testified that Chirwa admitted during a warn and caution statement that he proposed Clavel Incorporated International to be engaged in the training of ZRL workers without declaring interest but gave a defence that he was not privy to the procurement regulations in Zambia.
He said that it was alleged among others that Chirwa attempted to single source his personal company, Clavel Incorporated without declaring that he was a shareholder and director of the company.
He said during the warn and caution statement, Chirwa confirmed proposing his company to train ZRL workers without declaring interest because he was not privy to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) regulations as he had stayed out of the country for a long time.
Mr Mwange said that Chirwa also disclosed during investigations that Clavel Incorporated had become dormant but that he wanted to use the expertise the company had acquired over the years to train the workers.
Mr Mwange said that on the other hand, Mwale equally confirmed having authorised the payment of Chirwa’s accommodation on grounds that according to the terms and conditions of services for ZRL, Chirwa was entitled to a five star hotel accommodation when he travelled for business operations.
Mr Mwange said that he finally made up his mind to charge Chirwa and Mwale of the offences because they had breached the ACC Act 0f 2012.
Chirwa is jointly charged with Mwale for abuse of office contrary to the law. It was alleged in one of the offences that Chirwa and Mwale between February 1 and March 2, 2013, in Kabwe abused their authority by allowing the payment of K72, 282 to Fallsway Apartments for Chirwa’s accommodation, an amount which was beyond Chirwa’s entitlement.
Chirwa is also charged with failure to disclose interest to the ZRL board that Clavel Incorporated Limited, a company he had proposed to be engaged to train staff at ZRL, was his company.
Times of Zambia