By Mulenga Musonda
A Human Resource Management Officer strongly denied before the Choma Magistrates Court that despite the woman he placed on payroll not being qualified for the job, she was whatsoever not his lover or the cause of his divorce.
This was in a case in which a 42 year old Laboratory Assistant, despite not having a ‘full form V’ Certificate which was the minimum qualification for the job was offered employment in the Civil Service in an alleged corrupt manner.
In this matter Daggoh Chitendwe , Chief Human Resources Management Officer, 58, from Southern Province Provincial Administration is charged with one count of Abuse of Authority of Office contrary to Section 21(1)(a) of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012.
Allegations are that Chitendwe on dates unknown but between 1st June 2016 and 30th September 2016, in Choma, being a public officer abused the authority of his office in the manner in which he facilitated the appointment of a Laboratory Assistant Katasha Lombe for Mukuni Secondary School in Kazungula District.
When the matter came up for continued trial before Resident Magistrate Ethel Phiri, Kazungula District Education Board Humana Resource Management Officer at the time Chibanda Kombe testified in a seemingly elusive manner that he went ahead and placed Katasha on payroll after consultations with Chitendwe.
But in cross examination by Defense Counsel Inutu Suba that he was actually staying with Katasha and she was the reason he divorced his wife, the witness strongly denied the allegations but admitted to divorcing his wife in 2020 after being on separation.
Earlier Katasha 42, a Laboratory Assistant at Mukuni combined School in Kazungula testified that she applied for the position of General Worker in 2015 and in September 2016, she received a letter of appointment for her current position by Chitendwe who was the Human Resource Officer at Provincial Administration.
Despite the vacancy being advertised, Katasha said she did not respond to the advertisement but was miraculously called to collect her letter of appointment.