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ACC arrests former Ministry of Defence Stardy Mwale in connection with the purchase of the Gulfstream Presidential jet at more than USD 500 million

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THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has arrested former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence Stardy Mwale for corrupt practices involving more than US$ 573.9 million in relation to the procurement of the Gulfstream G650 Presidential Jet.

Mwale, 51, of Flat 21 Eureka Park in Makeni, has been charged with three counts of Wilful Failure to Comply with Applicable Law and Procedure contrary to Section 34 (2) (b) and one count of Fraudulent Facilitation of Payment from the Public Revenue Contrary to Section 34 (2) (a)(i) of the Anti-Corruption Act No.3 Of 2012.

ACC head of corporate communication Timothy Moono has disclosed in a statement that investigations have established that Stardy Mwale, while acting together with others, between the 1st January, 2017 and 31st December, 2017, being Permanent Secretary and the Chairperson of the Ministerial Procurement Committee for the Ministry of Defence, allegedly failed to comply with the applicable law and procedure in the manner he approved the award of the tender number MOD/MPC/024-17 and signed the amendment of contract number MOD/MPC/024-17 relating to the procurement of the Modernisation of the Defence forces Program at a contract price of US$ 400,000,000.00 to Elbit Systems Limited without approval from the Ministry Procurement Committee.

He said investigations have also established that Stardy Mwale, whilst acting together with others, between the 1st January, 2019 and 31st December, 2019, being Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, did wilfully fail to comply with the applicable law and procedure in the manner he signed a novation of the contract number MOD/MPC/002-19 between Elbit Systems Limited and Ministry of Defence to Savenda Systems Limited at a contract price of US$123,965,000.00.

“Investigations have further established that Stardy Mwale, whilst acting together with others,between the 1st April, 2017 and 31st December, 2019, being Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, did fraudulently facilitate a payment of US$ 50,000,000 under the contract number MOD/MPC/024-17 to Elbit Systems Limited for goods and services not supplied in full,” he said.

Mr Moono said the Commission has also arrested and jointly charged members of the Ministerial Procurement Committee for the Ministry of Defence with Stardy Mwale for Wilful Failure to Comply with Applicable Law and Procedure contrary to Section 34 (2) (b) of the Anti-Corruption Act No.3 of 2012, in the manner they approved the award of the tender numberMOD/MPC/024-17 for the procurement of the Modernisation of the Defence forces Program to Elbit Systems Limited at a contract price of US$ 400,000,000.00.

He said those arrested and charged are former Defence Secretary Rtd. Brigadier General Michael Obister Mbewe, Former Ministry of Defence Director General Medical Services Rtd. Brigadier General Frank Hardy Sinyangwe and Director-Finance at Ministry of Green Economy and Environment Esabel Willima Chinji who was then Acting Chief Accountant at Ministry of defence.

Meanwhile, in another development the Commission has also arrested and charged Mr Mwale with one count of Corrupt Acquisition of Public Property and Revenue contrary to Section 34 (1)(b) of the Anti-Corruption Act No.3 Of 2012.

“Details are that Stardy Mwale, jointly and whilst acting together with others, on dates between the 1 st April 2019 and 31st October 2019, being Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, did fraudulently or unlawfully divert 65,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer belonging to the Government of the Republic of Zambia to a private entity. A matter or transaction that concerned the Ministry of Defence a public body,” he said.

Mr Moono said Mr. Mwale and three others have been released on bond and are expected to appear in court soon.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 15th December, 2022)

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President Hakainde Hichilema to attend state funeral of late Namibian President Hage G. Geingob in Windhoek

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PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema is tomorrow expected to travel to Windhoek, Namibia on to attend the State Funeral of Dr Hage G.Geingob, late President of the Republic of Namibia.

In a statement issued by acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mulambo Haimbe said the Memorial Service is scheduled for Saturday, 24th February 2024 at Independence Stadium with attendance anticipated from foreign Heads of State and Government alongside other invited dignitaries.

“The Burial Service will take place on Sunday, 25th February 2024 at Heroes Acre,” he said.

President Geingob, 82, passed away on 4th February 2024 in Namibia, having served as President of the Republic of Namibia from 2015 until his passing.

Mr Haimbe said President Hichilema is expected to return to Zambia immediately after his engagement.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)

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Munir defies dress code,named and suspended from parliamentary proceedings

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BARELY 24 hours after Speaker Nelly Mutti’s directive against traditional wear in Parliament, Lumezi Member of Parliament  Munir Zulu has defied the order, leading to his suspension from Parliament.

The speaker has since named Mr Zulu for grossly disorderly behavior, stating that he had deliberately defied the guidance given yesterday.

This was after Mr Zulu was spotted in Parliament wearing a traditional attire of the people of Luapula.

“I am sure honourable member for Lumezi knows the dress code. And yesterday Members were guided so honourable member for Lumezi is deliberately defying the order and guidance given. Under the circumstances, honourable Member for Lumezi, I will name you,” she said.

“Mr Munir Zulu I find your behaviour grossly disorderly and sending you away for today’s sitting is insufficient. I therefore in accordance with standing order 208 name you,” she said.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mutale Nalumango says those threatening to have free education removed are irresponsible and should not be trusted.

Mrs Nalumango said free education is not an area to tamper with as it has given hope to many vulnerable children.

Mrs Nalumango was responding to a concern raised by Kabwe central Member of Parliament Chrizoster Phiri Halwindi during the Vice President question session ,who expressed concern by some leaders commenting that they will remove the free education policy.

However, Mrs Nalumango said it is unbelievable and saddening to hear some leaders utter such comments.

“It is actually unbelievable that any leader in any country would stand to fight free education.You truly want children to remain on the streets? You want the girl child to marry at 14-years old because they cannot go to school? You want boys to be fluffies or junkies? Free education has given hope, or did you want to be the only ones whose children go to school so that you continue to do wrong things? Therefore, it is irresponsible for anyone to declare that,” she said.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)

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Speaker bars MPs from wearing Ngoni traditional headgear in Parliament.

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SPEAKER of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti has ordered Members of Parliament not to to wear the Nc’wala traditional ceremony head gear in the house as doing so is against parliamentary rules.

All roads are leading to the Eastern Province ahead of the ceremony taking place on Saturday.

Some MPs have been caught in the excitement to the extent of putting on the head gear in Parliament before being ruled out by the speaker.

Ms Mutti advised the MPs to show their support outside the house as standing order 206 (1) (C) does not allow for the wearing head gears in the house.

“Honourable members, I have one announcement to make to effect that it was observed yesterday during the sitting of the house that some members wire the Ngoni traditional head gear. This is possibly in support of the Nc’wala traditional ceremony scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 24th, 2024.

“”I wish to however, advise the house that standing order number 206 (1) (C) of the National Assembly standing orders 2021 is instructive of attire that is permissible. The provision allows members to wear decent traditional attire such as ‘Siziba’.

“[The] Decency of attire is a question of fact and maybe viewed differently especially if worn in an incomplete manner. I therefore find that the wearing of the Ngoni traditional head gear in the house was inappropriate in accordance with standing orders. Therefore I will not permit henceforth any honorable member to continue wearing such attires in the house,” Ms Mutti said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Local Government Garry Nkombo has said the national mourning declared in respect of the passing of President of Namibia Hage Geingob will not affect celebration of the Nc’wala traditional ceremony.

He made the announcement following a concern raised by his Chitambo counterpart, Remember Mutale, through a matter of urgent public importance.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)

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