‘RETURN CHILUBA’S PROPERTIES

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The former President was acquitted, his forfeited assets should be handed over – Kalumba

By SILUMESI MALUMO

ABOUT US$8.5 million which belonged to late President Frederick Chiluba was reportedly squandered by the infamous Task Force on Corruption whose accounts have never been audited.

The money for the late President was under the custody of the Task Force and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Details are emerging that the late President’s account was now empty.

When contacted, ACC Public Relations Manager Timothy Moono yesterday, said the matter does not concern the Commission.

Mr Moono said the Commission had no powers over the matter, saying that it was only the family members who could be responsible.

“This matter does not concern us, this can only be the issue for the late President’s family and not the Commission,”

Mr Moono said. Meanwhile, former Minister of Defence George Mpombo described the development as unhuman, and appealed to the government to thoroughly investigate the matter.

Dr Mpombo said instituting investigations would enable Government to uphold the sacred and cherished principles of transparency and accountability.

He said that apart from the looted amount which was huge, it was a grave betrayal of trust and confidence by those charged with responsibility of safeguarding national resources.

Dr Mpombo said it was prudent for the nation to know to quell the escalating allegations on the matter.

And former Minister of Finance in the MMD regime, Dr Katele Kalumba has demanded that President Chiluba’s forfeited properties be returned to the family as he was acquitted of the charges for which they were taken.

Dr Kalumba noted that it was unfair for the late President’s property to be forfeited when he was not found guilty of any charges levelled against him.

He said the President had a discretion of amnesty which he could exercise on late President Chiluba’s matter.

“I understand the government of President Lungu is compassionate. As I speak, former minsters in the MMD regime have been assigned to different places across the world. So we have a President who wants to build unity to and ensure that the country heals from what it has suffered for a long time,” he said.

Dr Kalumba said like any other citizen, it was important for the government to ensure that Dr Chiluba’s matter was handled fairly, compassionately and judiciously.

He said it was only fair that the property which was forfeited be given to the rightful owners.

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