‘Zambia Railways cleared Chirwa’s K72,000 Fallsway rentals’

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ZAMBIA Railways Limited (ZRL) human resources director James Mukonkela has testified that the company paid over K72,000 to settle the January 2012 rentals for former chief executive officer Clive Chirwa at Fallsway apartments.
Mr Mukonkela, 56, said Chirwa was entitled to 20 percent housing allowance from a monthly salary of K140,000 but ZRL paid K72,281.21 for his accommodation at Fallsway apartments.
He was testifying in a matter in which Chirwa, 58, of plot 206/101 Ibex Hill in Lusaka, and former ZRL finance director, Regina Mwale, 50, of house number 5, Chavuma Road, Highridge in Kabwe, are charged with corruption and abuse of authority of office contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
The matter is before principal resident magistrate Obbister Musukwa.
“I did not know where Chirwa was staying because the designated house for the chief executive officer was not ready. But I came to learn that he was staying at some place called Fallsway apartment when my director of finance Regina Mwale showed me an invoice from Fallsway and told me to generate a memo informing the finance section to arrangement pays for the apartments,” Mr Mukonkela said.
He said as per direction from Ms Mwale, who was also his supervisor, he generated a memo to the finance section to pay for the accommodation.
Mr Mukonkela said it is the company’s policy not to provide accommodation to employees except for the chief executive officer.
He said according to the contract, Chirwa was entitled to a fully furnished house with two domestic workers and ZRL was supposed to meet electricity, water and telephone bills.
In the first count, Chirwa is charged with failure to disclose interest contrary to section 28 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act number 3 of 2012.
It is alleged that Chirwa, on dates unknown but between November 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 in Lusaka, being a public officer, namely CEO of ZRL, did recommend at the Zambia Railways board meeting that Clavel Incorporation Limited, a company in which he is an officer and shareholder, be given a contract to train employees of the railway company without disclosing his interest.
In the second count, Chirwa and Mwale are charged with abuse of authority of office contrary to section 21 (1) (a) of the ACC Act number three of 2012.
It is alleged that the duo between February 1 and March 2, 2013 in Kabwe , being public officers, namely chief executive officer and finance director of ZRL respectively, jointly and whilst acting together did abuse authority of their offices by authorising the payment of K72,282, 210 to Fallsway apartments for Chirwa’s accommodation, an amount which was beyond his entitlement.
The act is said to be arbitrary and prejudicial to the rights and interests of the Zambian government.
The duo are in the third count charged with abuse of authority of office contrary to section 21(1) a of the ACC Act number 3 of 2012.

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