The Anti-Corruption Commission is elated with the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the conviction of former Minister of Finance Dr Katele Kalumba and his three other co- accused who were sentenced to a five (5) year jail term by the Lusaka High Court.
In this matter, former Finance Minister Dr. Katela Kalumba, former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Stella Chibanda, former directors of the defunt Access Financial Services Faustine Kabwe and Aaron Chungu were charged with abuse of authority of office relating to payments amounting to USD 20 million made to a USA security company Systems Innovation and Wilbain Incorporation between 1997 and 2000 for security installations in strategic government institutions.
The quartet were arrested by the Task Force on Corruption, a joint investigations agency in 2004. The Task Force on Corruption which constituted of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Drug Enforcement Agency, Zambia Police Service and other security wings was established by the then late Republican President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa.
In delivering the judgement, Chief Justice Dr. Mumba Malila noted that the High Court that convicted the quartet to five years was on firm ground. The convicts had earlier appealed in the High Court the 2010 conviction by Lusaka Subordinate Court which found them guilty. And in 2013, the Lusaka High Court equally upheld the decision of the subordinate court.
Though the matter involving the quartet has protracted for over 10 years, the Commission believes in the wheels of justice no matter how long it takes, they eventually turn and catch up with the wrong doers. The Commission hopes that this conviction of former government officials will be a deterrent to would be offenders.
The Commission would like to warn public officers to take a leaf from this matter by ensuring that public resources entrusted to them by virtue of their positions are utilized in an accountable and transparent manner. (picture- courtesy of ZNBC)

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