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Zambian minister Chitotela could bag five year jail term for corruption

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Zambia’s housing and infrastructure minister Ronald Chitotela has been arraigned at the Lusaka magistrate’s court on allegations of corruption ranging from concealing two properties believed to have been bought with the proceeds of crime.




Other suspects including Gregory Chibanga, Diris Mukange, and Bruth Holding Limited also facing charges relating to the concealment of plots of land purchased in the capital Lusaka’s upmarket Makeni and Ibex Hill areas with the proceeds of crime. They were allegedly registered in Mukange’s name.

Chitotela was taken into custody last week by the Anti-Corruption Commission and released on bail pending the court hearing.

Calls for the minister’s dismissal have been growing but President Edgar Lungu has defended him, saying that he should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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This has not washed with the president’s critics who assert he is trying to rehabilitate his government’s image of being soft on graft.

Furthermore, there are strong doubts that any top officials can be successfully prosecuted.

The court has been adjourned until next Tuesday. If convicted, Chitotela faces up to five years in prison.

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-IOL News

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24 Hours Across Africa

Thousands bid fare well to Mugabe..

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Zimbabwe’s founder Robert Mugabe was honored as an icon, principled leader and African intellectual giant at a state funeral on Saturday, after a week of disputes over his burial threatened to embarrass President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mugabe led Zimbabwe for 37 years, from independence until he was ousted by the army in November 2017, by which time he was viewed by many at home and abroad as a power-obsessed autocrat who unleashed death squads, rigged elections and ruined the economy to keep control.

He died in a Singapore hospital on Sept. 6 aged 95, far away from a country he left polarized by a raging political rivalry between its two largest political parties, ZANU-PF and the opposition MDC.

His remains will be interred in a mausoleum at the National Heroes Acre in the capital Harare in about 30 days, his nephew said on Friday, contradicting earlier comments that a burial would be held on Sunday.

On Saturday, Mnangagwa walked behind the casket carrying Mugabe’s body as it was wheeled into the center of Harare’s National Sports Stadium and placed on a podium decorated with flowers so that heads of state could say their farewells. Senior army generals and Mugabe’s wife and children followed, as a brass band played.

The 60,000 seater stadium was only half-filled.

In a tribute to his predecessor, Mnangagwa said Mugabe stood in defense of Africans. He urged the West to remove sanctions that were imposed during Mugabe’s rule.

“We who remain shall continue to hear his rich, brave, defiant and inspiring voice … encouraging and warning us to be vigilant and astute,” Mnangagwa said in a speech.

“A giant tree of Africa has fallen. Today Africa weeps.”

Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF party wanted Mugabe buried at the national shrine to heroes of the 15-year liberation war against white minority rule. But some relatives, expressing bitterness at the way former comrades ousted Mugabe, had pushed for him to be buried in his home village.

Walter Chidhakwa, who spoke on behalf of Mugabe’s family, said Mugabe was an icon who was determined and unflinching in pursuing policies like land reform and later the black economic empowerment program.

Mugabe left behind a country wrecked by hyperinflation, dollarization and deeply entrenched corruption.

But many Zimbabweans also remember Mugabe as their country’s liberator from white minority rule and for broadening people’s access to education and land

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria: FG approves $5.3bn Ibadan-Kano rail project

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