THE Ministry of Justice has instituted investigations in a matter where Lusaka lawyer Robson Malipenga’s law firm Messrs Robson Malipenga and Company is accused of misappropriating funds meant to pay over 3,500 retires which was paid into the lawyer’s account by the ministry.
In this case the Voluntary Separatees Association of Zambia (VSA) national chairperson Syachoke Simemeza on behalf of 3,523 others has sued Malipenga in the Lusaka High Court demanding K104,041,778.91 which his law firm received on their behalf.
In a letter to Simemeza dated January 30, 2020 signed by justice minister Given Lubinda, the ministry said investigations will be conducted in the matter as the concerns raised by VSA indicates impropriety and fraud.
“As your letter dated January 28, 2020 points at issues of impropriety and fraud, I have to cause for an investigation to be conducted,” Lubinda stated.
“I trust that you will avail the records in your custody when called upon to do so in the course of investigations. I wish to commend you for bringing these matters to my attention.”
On January 28, this year Simemeza on behalf of 3,523 retirees of voluntary separation of 1999 packages asked the Ministry of Justice to suspend and withhold payment for 311 purported retirees and 744 names for the next payment pending investigations in the matter.
Simemeza implored Lubinda to investigate two issues being; the purported 311 omitted retirees under Peter Ng’uni group where about K17,662,587.12 was being paid to ghost retirees arising from the report of December 2014.
He said the purported 311 retirees among them 50 names are for their colleagues who are said to have been omitted which is false.
Simemeza stated that about 260 names were not omitted and may not exist or manufactured, which is false and fraud and a serious collusion with a lawyer, one or two officers in the Ministry of Justice and civil servants at Public Service Management Division.
“There are 744 retirees who are our colleagues on cause number 2002/HP/1055 who are either dead or don’t know that money is available on the judgement debtor. Government under compensation funds has been sending monies to law firms since 2009 to date whose monies are not claimed and the lawyers have roughly about K140, 000,000.00 which the government is failing to ask the lawyers to account for the same funds,” said Simemeza. “Hon Minister, Sir, these are two too critical issues suitable to investigate and arrest the fraud gangs. I have all the records in my custody for photocopying to prove my allegations and I implore the Ministry of Justice through your office and of the Attorney General to suspend and withhold payment for 311 purported retirees and 744 names in the forthcoming payment not until the investigations shall be concluded.”