The Anti-Corruption Commission has arrested two government officers for corruption and abuse of office involving over K1.5 billion in connection with rehabilitation works at Livingstone Central Prison. The Works were being conducted by a company called Choice Build Ltd.
ACC spokesperson Timothy Moono says Mwala Katundu, 33, of Kamanga Over Spill in Lusaka and a Quantity Surveyor in the Ministry of Works, Buildings Department, was arrested for one count of abuse of authority of office for certifying that rehabilitation works at Livingstone Prison were fully done when in fact not.
He said the second suspect, Emmanuel Gabby Nguni, 53 of House No 5 Nyati Close Rhodes Park in Lusaka and An assistant Director Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Home Affairs was arrested and charged for two counts of corrupt practices by public officer and one count of abuse of authority of office.
‘In the first count Nguni was arrested for corruptly receiving K5,000,000 (five million kwacha) cash gratification from Yolomino Mbewe, the Director of Choice Build Ltd, for facilitating the award of the contract to Choice Build and for the payment of K869,44,488.71 for the rehabilitation works at Livingstone Prison.
‘In the second count, Nguni was arrested and charged for one count of abuse of authority of office by directing that a total amount of K700,000,000 (seven hundred million kwacha be paid to Choice Build Ltd without following laid down procedures.
‘In the third count, Nguni was arrested and charged with one count of corrupt practices by public officer for corruptly accepting or receiving a total of K86,000,000 9 (eighty six million kwacha) cash gratification as an inducement or reward from Yolomino Mbewe for having facilitated the payment of alleged extra works at Livingstone Prison amounting to K700,000,000,’ explained Moono.
He said both Nguni and Katundu have denied the charges and are still in custody.
Moono said the arrests follow investigations the Commission has been conducting in the manner rehabilitation works at the Livingstone Central Prison were conducted and certified complete. Choice Build Ltd was in 2009 contracted by the Government of the Republic of Zambia to rehabilitate Livingstone Cetral Prison at a total contract sum of K3.4 billion.
However by the end of the purported execution of works which was a contract period of 28 months, and at the time the contractor was about to hand over the works to government, it was found that the works were incomplete and the Government had paid a total of K4.1 billion. The additional money includes the K700,000,000 which was not approved by government.