Chreso University sues Independent candidate alleging fraud

THE Council of Chreso University has sued Mkushi North independent parliamentary candidate Lawrence Mwelwa in the Lusaka High Court for fraud involving K917,650 from its student affairs congress account.

The money was paid by three students at the Ndola campus under Mwelwa’s directive that they deposit tuition fees in the said account.

In its statement of claim, Chreso University stated that through its own investigations, it discovered that some students had been accepted to study at its campus in Ndola and they had been directed by Dr Mwelwa, who was then a vice chancellor, to make payments into account no. 3015045820019 held at Africa Banking Corporation (Bank ABC).

The Chreso University Council said in 2019, through its director and chancellor, it made representations to the bank to furnish it with bank details for the said account and the bank forwarded documents namely; Chreso University Student Affairs Congress minutes dated March 17, 2015, Mwelwa’s business banking account application form filed by the university student affairs congress with the application date being March 19, 2015 and the opening date being June 20, 2015.

Other documents released by the bank were a letter of introduction dated October 22, 2015 from the University’s registrar on behalf of the Chreso University Student Affairs Congress introducing three students Kenny Simuuwe, Christabel Kapupa and Felix Mukubesa, Chreso’s alleged senate resolution dated February 27, 2015 alleging that it had resolved to open additional bank accounts and a bank statement for the said account covering January 1, 2017 and March 31, 2019.

“The bank statement furnished by the bank for account no.3015045820019 belonged to Chreso University Student Affairs Congress and the account was controlled by the student congress and not by the plaintiff,” the university stated.

“Upon further scrutiny of the account, it was discovered that K1,093,228.98 was deposited into the account by the Ndola based students. Dr Mwelwa had full knowledge that the account belonged to Chreso University Student Affairs Congress and not the university’s account in which fees were to be deposited into and whose intent and purpose was for student membership subscriptions only and not student university fees.”

The Council of Chreso University stated that it was also discovered that contrary to the Chreso University Student Affairs Congress minutes and mandate given to the university, Dr Mwelwa proceeded to withdraw K917,650 meant for the university as university fees without any probable explanation.

It stated that Dr Melwa’s actions had raised suspicion of collusion between himself, the bank and unauthorised persons who withdrew the money from the account.

“The plaintiff believes that account no.3015045820019 was used as a conduit of fraud by Dr Mwelwa who withdrew K917,650 by coaxing Chreso University Sudents to make deposits in a wrong account and thereafter making unauthorised withdrawals,” the university said.

“The defendant conspired and obtained wrongly, falsely and fraudulently with the sole purpose or predominant intention of injuring the university and causing loss by allowing withdrawals to be made on the account.”

The Council of Chreso University contends that the motivation of Dr Mwelwa was unreasonable and unjustified victimization of the university.

It added that by reason of the conspiracy, the university had suffered loss and damage and would continue to suffer if the total withdrawn sums are not restored.

It is claiming for an order of restoration of K917,650 inclusive of charges and taxes, damages for conspiracy and negligence, interest and any other relief the court may deem fit.

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