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Children’s tuition sends former DBZ CEO to prison

Samuel Bwalya, the former managing director of the Development Bank of Zambia, pleaded with the court for compassion because he was a first-time criminal and a family man, but the magistrate nonetheless sentenced him to one year and three months in prison with hard labor.

Bwalya was sentenced to prison yesterday for misusing K781,000 in public funds after using the money to cover his kids’ tuition.

While taking into account Bwalya’s mitigating circumstances and the fact that the disputed funds were recovered, Lusaka Judge Faides Hamaundu stated that the offender needed to get a deterrent punishment.

Magistrate Hamaundu observes that instances of financial abuse have increased.

Bwalya was charged with 12 charges of abuse of power.

Claims were made that Bwalya, while serving as a public officer and managing director, arbitrarily directed payments of school tuition for his children abroad on numerous occasions between May 1, 2020, and July 30, 2021.

It was claimed that the accused made 12 distinct payments totaling K417, 900.97 (£15, 980), R106, 324 (K132, 435.09), and R90, 205 (K130, 709.94) using public monies.

Additional payments were K6, 980, K6, 840, K6, 560, and K4, 670. R35, 160.61, which is equal to K39, 028.28, K10, 540, and K9, 000.

The money was distributed to several schools in Zambia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Bwalya’s choice to direct the funds in question was said to have been against the interests of the government.

The state called roughly 11 witnesses to testify against Bwalya, who was in court and refuted every accusation.

In rendering his decision, Judge Hamaundu determined that K781,000 was paid as school fees for the convict’s children in April 2020 in violation of the terms of his job contract.

The contract did not indicate his allowances but that of his predecessor. The accused had allowances but not education allowance
” There is no section that shows that he deserved allowances in the contract, ” magistrate Hamaundu said.

“I find that he was not qualified to get the education allowance as claimed. It was his predecessor who was entitled

“Further evidence shows that invoices to his children fees where submitted,” magistrate Hamaundu said.

“I have found the accused guilty in all the counts and I convict him accordingly,” magistrate Hamaundu said.

From counts one to 12, the court imposed a 15 months imprisonment with hard labour on each count but to but to run concurrently.

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