Two Lusaka lawyers arrested for trying to swindle govt K2.4 billion

The Drug Enforcement Commission has arrested two Lawyers for attempting to swindle government of over 2.4 billion kwacha.
DEC spokesperson John Nyawali named the legal brains as Nicholas Okware, a private lawyer of Okware Associates and Company and Steven Simwanza, an Assistant Senior State Advocate in the office of the Attorney General.

He said the other person arrested in connection with the transaction is Simatama Maliwa, the owner of Be-link debt collectors.
The trio are said to have attempted to obtain the money from the Ministry of Tourism Environment and Natural Resources by using an inflated bill of claims.

Simwanza a government lawyer is said to have conspired with Okware, a private lawyer for former employees of the Ministry of Tourism Environment and Natural Resources and Maliwa a debt collector and other unknown people in the Ministry to inflate the bill of legal claims to over 2.4 billion kwacha.

The case of ex-workers of the ministry of tourism is currently before the High Court where Delson Chibaya and other former employees of the Ministry sued the state for under payment of their terminal benefits amounting to 182 million kwacha.

The two lawyers are currently detained and will appear in court soon, said Nyawali.
A team of investigators from the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Drug Enforcement Commission has since been instituted to ensure that the matter is thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.
Other preliminary investigations have shown that government has possibly lost billions of kwacha through fake claims in different ministries.
Nyawali disclosed that the Commission in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies will soon revisit and closely scrutinize some of the financial claims that have been settled in the past to ensure that any money that was fraudulently paid is returned to government and its perpetrators prosecuted.

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