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Accused person exhibits mental disorder

...Ex-PS pleads not guilty to corrupt charges

By Makokwa Clara Muyendekwa

An accountant  dramatically exhibited unstable  mental health when he was supposed to appear in the Choma magistrate court for fraudulent accounting.

Owen Ngulube as accused person number eight in this matter is believed to have conducted fraudulent accounting on dates  unknown but between  April 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017 falsified retirement entries of imprest amounting to K3000 purporting to have traveled outside the district with other officers when in fact not.

When it was time for the case to commence, Mr Ngulube was seen outside court uncontrollably shouting forcing Police officers to keep him at the Choma Municipal council premises.

However Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Mungala ordered that the accused person be brought before court to ascertain if he could answer to his case.

This was after counsel representing the accused person had asked court to give them time to assess if the accused person was in a sound mind to be before court.

The accused person however soundly managed to plead not guilty to his charge after minutes of court standing down for him to be brought in court.

This is in a matter in which former Southern Province Permanent Secretary Sibanze Simuchoba is charged for corrupt practices with 14 others with a total of 35 counts.

The first accused person being Sibanze Simuchoba is in one count charged with willful failure to follow procedure contrary to section 34 (2) (b) as read with section 41of the Anti-corruption Act no.3 of 2012.

Particulars of the offense are that on  May 5, 2015 at Choma District in Southern Province being Permanent Secretary, did willfully fail to follow applicable procedure in the manner he authorized Benson Kapumo and Linda Siwale to approve payment of funds from the infrastructure account without the written approval of secretary to the treasury, a matter which concerns the provincial Administration of Southern Province, a public body.

In the second count, Mr Simuchoba is charged with the same offence and particulars are that Mr Simuchoba and Enoce Kashweka jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown on January 15,  2016 at Choma being Permanent Secretary and Principal Accountant respectively, did willfully fail to follow applicable procedure in the manner they authorized the transfer of K72, 888 from Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Relief Account to the Recurrent Departmental charges account without the written approval of the Secretary to the Treasury, a matter which concerns the provincial Administration of Southern Province, a public body.

When called to take plea before Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Mungala, all accused persons pleaded not guilty to their charges.

The state was not ready to proceed with the case and Magistrate Mungala adjourned the matter to February 28, 2022 for commencement of trial.

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