ACC forced me to accept two counts for case to close – Prof Chirwa

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—Professor Clive Chirwa today told the Lusaka
Magistrate’s court that he was given conditions by the Anti-Corruption
Commission (ACC) in August 2013 to accept the two counts he was
charged with of abuse of authority and failure to disclose interest in
order to have the case against him closed.

This is a case in which Prof Chirwa is charged with failure to disclose interest and abuse of authority of office contrary to the laws of Zambia.

This is in a case where Prof Chirwa, 58, of plot 206/101, Ibex Hill, is in the first count charged with failure to disclose interest contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

Prof Chirwa is in the second and third counts jointly charged with Regina Mwale, 50, of High Ridge in Kabwe and 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 professor’s 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.

Prof Chirwa, who appeared before Magisterial Obbister Musukwa to give his defense on the matter, said he was called sometime in August by the ACC to be given details of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’s opinion and that he went with his former lawyer Yosa Yosa and met the ACC Director of Investigations and Chief
Investigations Officer who asked him to accept the two counts he was charged with in order for the case to be closed.

He said he was given four conditions which included forfeiting his terminal benefits, to stop communicating, remaining in the country and apologizing to the Zambians at Mass media on both television and radio for what he had done.

Prof Chirwa said he rejected the offer and told the Director of Investigations that he had done nothing wrong and would clear his name in court and he was then told that they would relay his decision to the DPP but that they did not give him feedback on the matter as agreed.

He further testified that at the time he received a call from President Micheal Sata to come and help run Zambia Railways on October 10, 2012 he told the President that he was busy with the designing of the new Toyota Camry for 2016 but later reflected the discussion with President Sata on the need for him to work for his country.

Prof Chirwa said he later received his offer letter as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Zambia Railways which was dated November 7, 2012 but it had no contract on conditions of service attached to it and he was only given the contract letter on February 3, 2013 by the Zambia Railways Board Chairman, Mark Chona.

He said on December 3, 2012 he was received by a protocol officer and a driver from the Ministry of Transport, Works Supply and Communications at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and was driven directly to Fallsways Hotel and not Intercontinental Hotel where he used to lodge the previous times when was in the country.

He said the former Minister of Transport, Christopher Yaluma, who later found them there, told Chirwa not to find another place but stay at Fallsway Hotel as it was the best place for him after Chirwa told the Minister that he wanted to bring over his family to Zambia.

He further testified that he was not yet an employee of Zambia Railways but a future CEO when he presented a preamble plan on his vision for the company on December 18, 2012 during a meeting which was attended by board members, the former minister of Transport Christopher Yaluma, his deputy, Panji Kaunda and many officials from the ministry of transport.

Prof Chirwa told the court that in his presentation on the preamble the plan of how to rehabilitate Zambia Railways was not done during a Board meeting on December 18, 2012 as the meeting was attended by many officials from the Ministry of Transport.

He further said he returned to the United Kingdom and was only told by the board chairman through an email on January 11, 2012 that his contract was ready and he came back to Zambia where he signed it during a signing ceremony though the salary was far below what he was getting in the United Kingdom where he was working.

Defense in the matter continues.