Chirwa’s accommodation payments were authorised-witness

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The Lusaka Magistrate Court has on April 30th heard that the payments for former Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) Chief Executive Officer Clive Chirwa’s accommodation at Falls Way Apartments were authorized.

Former Zambia Railways Limited Finance Manager Elijah Nyirenda told the court that payments were authorised by former ZRL Director of Finance Regina Mwale.

Mr. Nyirenda, who is currently ZRL Director of Finance, told the court that Mwale in her capacity as Director of Finance was the one who authorised all the payments of goods and services for the company.

The witness told Principal Resident Magistrate Obbister Musukwa during continuation of trial that after the authorization of the payments by Mwale, him as Finance Manager signed the vouchers to facilitate for the payment of the money towards Chirwa’s rentals at Falls way apartments.

When he was asked during cross examination by defence lawyer Mulilo Kabesha where the payments for Chirwa’s accommodation were coming from during the period he stayed at Falls way apartments, he responded that it was from Zambia Railway Limited.

He further said when the investigations officer visited him over the matter, he produced three payment vouchers for payments for Prof. Chirwa’s rentals at Falls way apartments which were later produced in court.

And state prosecutors told the court that they were only remaining with one witness in the matter before closing their case..

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.

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 Falls way Apartments for Prof. Chirwa’s accommodation, an amount which was beyond his entitlement and 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 authorized the payment to Falls way Apartments on unknown dates but between February 1st and March 2nd 2013 in Kabwe.

The Magistrate has since adjourned the matter to June 4, 2014 for continuation of trial and police bonds for the accused persons have been extended.

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