ACC suggests arrest, prosecution of Kapoko’s girl friend for receiving suspected stolen property

THE Anti-Corruption Commission has suggested that former ministry of health chief human resource and development officer Henry Kapoko’s lover Rudo Chitengu will be prosecuted for receiving property suspected to be proceeds of crime after the conclusion of Kapoko’s appeal to the Court of Appeal challenging his nine-year jail term for theft by servant and money laundering.

The Commission says the money, some assets and documents seized from Chitengu are exhibits for further investigations and possible prosecution.

This is in a matter where Chitengu has petitioned the Anti-Corruption Commission in the Constitutional Court for grabbing her properties on the premise that they belonged to Kapoko.

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 belonged to her.

In its answer to the petition, ACC said the restriction, seizure, confiscation and retention of Chitengu’s properties by ECZ was lawful as it was done to protect the interest of the state whilst investigations were on-going as the properties were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime and not for the mere fact that she had a child with Kapoko.

The Commission rubbished claims by Chitengu that the properties in question belonged to her as they were not supported by her legitimate income.

“The petitioner was receiving properties from Kapoko knowing or having reason to believe that Kapoko had feloniously or unlawfully obtained the said properties,” ACC said.

“The restriction, seizure, confiscation and retention of the petitioner’s properties by the ACC was lawful and the same was done in order to protect the interests of the state and have been retained as exhibits in furtherance of an ongoing investigation and eventual prosecution.”

And in an affidavit in opposition to the petition signed by Vincent Machila, a chief investigations officer, ACC said on February 23, 2009, the commission received a report from an anonymous whistle blower regarding allegations of corruption, theft, abuse of authority of office and money laundering against officials at Ministry of Health in connection with the procurement of goods and services.

Machila said the report was authorised for investigations by the director general of ACC on February 26, 2009 and he was part of the investigations team.

Investigations established that one of the suspects who was the master minder of the alleged offenses was Kapoko, senior human resources officer at Ministry of Health, who during the period October 2007 and February 2009 was alleged to have been involved in diverse fraudulent activities and eventually appeared before various courts for charges of abuse of office, theft, theft by public servant and money laundering involving over K12.6 billion unrebased.

It was established that Chitengu was one of Kapoko’s girlfriends and they had a child.

It was established that during the indictable period, Kapoko had made several payments to Chitengu from his various company accounts and by way of cash amounts whose source were funds from fraudulent activities.

He said investigations revealed that the petitioner had cash in banks worth over K124 million unrebased, government bonds worth over K368 million unrebased, shares in Zain and Zanaco worth K63 million unrebased, a flat bought at K120 million unrebased, two plots in Meanwood bought at K125 million unrebased and the source of most of the funds for the investments by Chitengu was Kapoko.

“The aforesaid properties were not supported by the legitimate income of the petitioner and she was receiving properties from Kapoko knowing or having reason to believe that Kapoko had feloniously obtained or unlawfully obtained the said properties,” Machila said.

He said ACC restricted the disposal of the petitioner’ assets pursuant to section 24 of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act no.42 of 1996 in order to protect the interest of the state.

“DEC arising from the joint investigation had justifiable cause to seize from the petitioner properties in the seizure notice no.770. Other items were not seized under the seizure notice by DEC. The money and documents confiscated from Rudo were exhibits in furthering of investigations,” Machila said.

“The petitioner is supposed to be arrested and charged with the offenses of receiving from Kapoko property reasonably suspected to have been stolen or feloniously obtained contrary to section 318(a) of the penal code cap. 87 of the laws of Zambia once Kapoko’s appeal against his conviction and sentencing is finalized in the Court of Appeal.”

The ACC said Chitengu was not entitled to any reliefs she was seeking from the state before this court or at all.

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