Court orders arrest of President Lungu’s aide, jails Kapoko 18 years for corruption

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Henry Kapoko

The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has ordered the arrest of President Edgar Lungu’s principal private secretary Simon Miti “in the interest of justice” to answer to corruption related charges brought out at the time he served as Ministry of Health permanent secretary.

And the court has sentenced former Ministry of Health chief human resources officer Henry Kapoko and four others to 18 years imprisonment with hard labour each for corruption, money laundering and theft of over K6 million. The sentence includes five years each for theft, 5 years for money laundering and a further nine for theft by public servant.

Principal Resident Magistrate Exnobert Zulu said it was not too late to arrest Dr Miti, was appointed last year by President Edgar Lungu, and present him before court to also answer to the corruption-related charges.

He said this after convicting Kapoko and his co-accused for stealing millions of kwacha when they were employees of the Ministry of Health at the time Dr Miti was permanent secretary.

Magistrate Zulu said Dr Miti should answer to corruption charges because he was aware of what was transpiring in the Ministry although he feigned ignorance.

He said Dr Miti was an accomplice, saying that was the reason why when the State brought him as a witness, he expressed ignorance on the happenings because he had an interest to serve.

In a ruling that lasted for two days, Magistrate Zulu convicted Kapoko aged 45, three accountants namely , Zukas kaoma, 47, Evaristo Musaba, 56, Vincent Luhana, and an Internal Auditor Jasper Phiri, 46. However, honourable Zulu has acquitted other persons that were jointly charged namely Roy Maswenyeho, Luke Makeche, Chrispine Sichone, Nobert Peleti, and Essau Banda on account that no offence had been proved against them.

Kapoko and nine other officials from the Ministry of Health were jointly charged by the Anti-Corruption Commission on 67 counts following investigations conducted by the Anti-Corruption, Zambia Police, and Drug Enforcement and were found with a case to answer on 66 counts by the magistrates court.

Magistrate Zulu in his ruling ordered that all convicts’ properties and accounts in which stolen money was deposited be forfeited to the State. He also entered a statutory judgement in favour of the Attorney General to recover over K6.8m from the convicts. The said properties include 24 motor vehicles including BMW, Mercedes Benz,Nissan Truck. Others are 3 houses, 2 Lodges, 1 Filling station, 5 Banks Accounts.

He ruled that for the money to move in the fashion it did, there was collusion among the five convicts, and therefore the five were also ordered to pay costs incurred by the State during the whole court process.

Magistrate Zulu found that there were hyper activities in terms of the money Kapoko was depositing into his business and personal bank accounts. He said that Kapoko continued to endorse dubious payments from the Ministry of Health to a named consultancy agency, even after he had been transferred to the then Ministry of Local Government and Housing. This was evidenced in the cheques and payment vouchers that were found in his house by the investigative wings.

He said that it was peculiar that Kapoko was making huge bank deposits at the same time he was acquiring high value motor vehicles and properties.
In this nine year trial, the investigative wings conducted an investigation following the unearthing of a scam involving corruption, theft, and money laundering at said Ministry.

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