Zambia News

Honeybee drug case is still being investigated by ACC

EVEN though the State withdrew from the Honeybee court case involving the former minister of health Chitalu Chilufya and seven other individuals, the investigation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau is still ongoing (ACC).

In a case where they were accused of conspiring to steal the government of more than US$17 million, Dr. Chilufya and seven other people were exonerated by the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court on February 16, 2023.

This came when ACC prosecutors notified Judge Davies Chibwili that they had been given the go-ahead to end the case.

The court case centered on HoneyBee’s provision and delivery of 22,500 health center kits to the ministry of health in the year 2019.

Dr. Chilufya was charged alongside the former attorney general Likando Kalaluka, the former permanent secretary of the ministry of health Kakulubelwa Mulalelo, the procurement officer for the ministry of mines Wilson Lungu, and the pharmacist Emmanuel Mubanga.

Directors of Honeybee Pharmacy Ltd, Abdurrauf Motala, Zakir Motalw, and Imran Lunat made up the remaining suspects.

Tom Shamakamba, director general of the ACC, stated that the HoneyBee case is still under investigation.

“The case is still being examined further to better inform the way forward.

“However, it has nothing do with the resignation of an officer in this matter. The commission staff works in teams and the resignation of one officer will and cannot stall investigations and prosecution of the matter,” Mr Shamakamba said.

He continued by saying that some “severe problems” had forced the ACC to drop its case before the Economic and Financial Crimes Court.

Also, Mr. Shamakamba disclosed to the media that the commission had prohibited the use of assets owned by Harry Kalaba, the president of Citizens First, and former Zambian ambassador to Ethiopia Emmanuel Mwamba.

According to him, the ACC was informed by members of the public that Mr. Mwamba and Mr. Kalaba, two distinct property owners in the Makeni Balmoral neighborhood of Lusaka, had a reasonable suspicion that their possessions were obtained through criminal activity.

“You may wish to know that the Restriction Notices were not only served on these two but to other individuals as well. These properties involve housing units.

“As per our mandate, in trying to prove or disapprove an allegation in any matter of investigations, the commission took a step to safeguard the properties against potential disposal,” Mr Shamakamba said.

Also, he debunked online rumors that the commission had threatened to seize the recently built United Church of Zambia Synod buildings in Woodlands.

The ACC, according to Mr. Shamakamba, has a three-pronged strategy for combating corruption.

“Investigating corrupt practices and prosecute the offenders where possible; Prevent corruption in both public and private bodies and lastly to educate the public on the dangers of corruption,” he said.

Mr Shamakamba said the three tactics are being used to make Zambia a corruption free society.

“Therefore, if investigations are launched against any person, it does not mean that the individual involved is already guilty,” he said.

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