THE opposition National Democratic Congress says President Edgar Lungu should consider sending his principal private secretary Dr Simon Miti on forced leave because he is “directly involved in the Henry Kapoko illicit activities at the Ministry of Health”.
And National Democratic Congress (NDC) secretary general Mwenya Musenge says the 18-year jail sentence imposed on former Ministry of Health human resource officer Henry Kapoko is appropriate. Last week, Choma-based magistrate Exnorbit Zulu, who was sitting in Lusaka, ordered the arrest of Dr 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.
Magistrate Zulu said he was still puzzled how Dr Miti, a former Ministry of Health permanent secretary, did not take action after K6.8 million at the Ministry was lost, saying it was not too late for him to have his day in court. Last week on Wednesday, magistrate Zulu convicted Kapoko and four others and the following day, he sentenced them to 18 years imprisonment.
Commenting on the development, Musenge noted that the NDC was of the view that President Lungu ought to send Dr Miti on forced leave.
“The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is urging President Edgar Lungu to consider sending his principal private secretary Simon Miti on forced leave. As NDC, we strongly believe Dr Miti is directly involved in the Henry Kapoko illicit activities at the Ministry of Health. Dr Miti served as permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health when over K6.8 million was stolen by Kapoko and his associates. Sending Dr Miti on forced leave will give law enforcement agencies time to probe the State House aide,” Musenge said in a press statement issued yesterday.
He noted that magistrate Zulu, who handled the Kapoko case, had raised serious concerns on why Dr Miti was left out of the case.
“Dr Miti was [a] controlling officer at the Ministry of Health and knew what was happening when Kapoko was stealing public funds,” Musenge stated.
“It is puzzling that all the dubious activities by Kapoko and his associates eluded the attention of Dr Miti. Dr Miti is directly involved in the Kapoko saga. He knows exactly what was happening when Kapoko was abusing his office.”
He emphasised that Dr Miti should be allowed to face investigative agencies in order to have his name cleared.
“As NDC, we, thus, welcome the conviction of Kapoko and his associates. The Kapoko judgement should send a strong warning to all public service officers. Therefore, the 18 year jail sentence imposed on Kapoko is appropriate. As NDC, we also want to urge the ACC (Anti-Corruption Commission) to probe Zambia Air Force commander Eric Chimese who has been sent on forced leave,” stated Musenge.
“We have information that General Chimese was involved in a number of dubious corruption scandals at ZAF. We, therefore, urge President Lungu to forthwith dismiss Gen Chimese so that his grand corruption activities at ZAF can be probed.”