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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.
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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