Scandal rocked Zambia prisons service Commissioner General Percy Chato early this year misappropriated over K15m meant for fertiliser at some prison farms which were meant to produce maize for the prisons owned Kalonga milling plant.
Sources from the prisons service and the ministry of home affairs have disclosed that the service command had done a budget to prepare maize to be supplied to the milling plant which was meant for prison consumption and commercial undertaking to raise money.
Chato subcontracted a prominent farmer in the outskirts of Kabwe who agreed to rent out over 30 hectares of land. 50 prisoners were attached to the farm but instead of buying the right fertiliser or fungicides Chato fraudulently bought wrong and expired fungicides which damaged all the crops.
The sources said that a report was submitted to President Edgar Lungu and that they expected Chato to be fired and later be prosecuted but to their surprise he was now elevated from commissioner to Commissioner General, putting him at the same level with other defence and security wings commanders. This was after he donated some cattle from a prison farm to Lungu, it is not even known where Lungu took the animals as he has never been heard of having a farm.
He used most of the proceeds to again fraudulently acquire huge pieces of land in Kabwe and Lusaka where he is building mansions for his girlfriends using free prison labour. Some of the prisoners pardoned are ones whose freedom he negotiates with Lungu and it is suspected that he has been sharing the proceeds with the President.
Chato is currently living with some two named concubines in different homes after being on separation from his wife of many years. The wife has threatened to expose his dubious dealings but he claims that his wife is being used by people after his job. To his close confidants, he has also accused his wife of having arranged some people to drop three coffins in front of his heavily guarded house while he was enjoying extra marital affairs in Lusaka.