THE Anti-Corruption Commission has hinted of its intention to resolve, without litigation, the dispute surrounding the seizure of assets and bank accounts belonging to lover of incarcerated former Ministry of Health chief human resource and development officer Henry Kapoko.
This is in a matter where Rudo Chitengu has petitioned the Anti-Corruption Commission in the Constitutional Court for grabbing her properties on the premise that they belonged to Kapoko.
When the matter came up for a status conference early this month, ACC, through its advocate M. Siamondo, told judge Mwila Chitabo that the parties were exploring an out of court settlement.
“We are hopeful that by the time the next compliance date comes, we would have concluded something,” said Siamondo.
Judge Chitbo commended the parties for the decision as it would save the court’s resources.
“I am grateful and we should try as much as possible to avoid meetings. The legal practitioners’ Rules of 2002 mandates learned attorneys to encourage their respective clients to explore prospects of excuria resolution of disputes. That is a very good Rule because you cut down on the high costs of litigation. I encourage you to do that,” said judge Chitabo.
Chitengu, a former wide approach programmes coordinator in the Ministry of Health is seeking a declaration that the seizure notice dated December 8, 2017 be declared null and void.
She wants a declaration that the assets, goods, items and money listed in the notice of seizure which were mistaken to have been realised from Kapoko’s criminal activities in the Ministry of Health belong to her.
In her petition, Chitengu said at the time of her suspension in 2009, she worked as principal planner (multilateral and bilateral cooperation) at the Ministry of Health.
She disclosed that since 2003, she was in a sexual relationship with Kapoko and they have a child who was born on August 23, 2007 and that the said child was maintained by Kapoko on a regular basis.
Chitengu stated that in 2009 Kapoko was indicted for criminal offences related to money laundering and her accounts were frozen by a mere fact that she had a child with Kapoko.
“By an act of the ACC, the petitioner’s assets, goods, items and money listed below were seized and deprived from the petitioner from the year 2009 to date without justifiable cause: Flat 27 Zambia National Building Society complex, Musonda Ngosa road, Villa Elizabeth, Lusaka, Government of the Republic of Zambia Bonds valued at K368,324.65 on account no.0599502000216 and account no. 0211201001817 with K24,000 as at April 27, 2009 held at Inter Market Banking Corporation limited Lusaka, 2,000 Airtel Zambia Plc Shares valued at K48,000 as at June 6, 2014 and 375,000 Zanaco Plc shares valued at K112,500 as at June 6, 2014 held at Inter Market Securities limited,” Chitengu said.
Other properties which were seized are
K99,972.53 in account no. 015011086900 at Standard Chartered Bank, Lusaka, main branch, money confiscated from flat 27 Zambia National Building Society complex Musonda Ngosa road, Villa Elizabeth being USD2,300 in 100 US dollar notes, 100×200 South African rands notes (ZAR20,000), 14×100 ZAR1,400, 2×50 ZAR 100, 3×20 ZAR 60, 2×10 ZAR 20, 345X50 Kwacha notes amounting to ZMW17,250, K4,251.55 and K1,000 enveloped at the time including other personal belongings.
Chitengu said the property which was suspected to be proceeds of crime belong to her.
Kapoko’s lover contended that due to the illegal seizure and retention of her assets, goods, items and money by the ACC, she has suffered damages, loss, costs and loss of the use of her properties.
Chitengu further wants an order for damages for deprivation of the use of the assets, goods, items and money which was the subject of the notice of seizure dated December 8, 2017 from 2009.
She also wants an order compelling the ACC to release and surrender her property under the seizure so that she can use and possess the same.
The matter comes up on August 20, this year.