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CHITOTELA OWES OVER K6M

...on house seized by ACC

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

Ex-minister Ronald Chitotela owes over K6 million on the property seized by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).

According to  an affidavit filed in court yesterday, Mr Chitotela said, he was owing K6,650,000 unrebased  to AZADI, the company contracted to construct his house.

He also explained that he paid K3,150,000 unrebased leaving a balance of  K6,650,000  to the contractor for  building his house. 

la said, he was owing K6, 650, 000  to AZADI, the company contracted to construct his house.

He also explained that he paid K3,150,000 leaving a balance of  K6,650,000  unrebased to the contractor for  building his house.

“The petitioner has since paid the said Azadi Investment Limited a total of K3, 150, 000 only, leaving a balance of K6, 650, 000 only. All these payments are properly documented,” he said.

He said that the property was still in the name of Mr Runmin because he had not yet completed the transactions by paying property transfer tax.

The petitioner denied having acquired the property through corrupt means saying he entered into a contract to buy the property in question as bare land in 2017 with Mr Runmin at K1 million.

Mr Chitotela stated that he entered into an agreement with Azadi Investment Limited to build the said house.

Meanwhile, the  Lusaka Magistrate Court has stayed the Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC)’s seizure of ex-minister Ronald Chitotela’s property pending hearing of his application to set aside the warrant of seizure.

This is according to an ex-parte order obtained by Mr Chitotela’s lawyers Andrew and Partners.

“It is ordered that the warrant of seizure dated the 27th April, 2022 taken out by the applicant herein is hereby stayed forthwith pending hearing of the application inter-parties for an order to set aside the warrant of seizure before the honourable Magistrate F. Sato on 9th May, 2022,” read the order.

ACC in its statement alleged that the seized property was acquired by Mr Chitotela using suspected proceeds of crime and was in fact registered in the name of Liu Runmin, a Lusaka businessman.

Meanwhile, Mr Chitotela has petitioned the Lusaka High Court seeking a declaration that said property known as stand no. CHONG/LN-21188/51 in State Lodge, Chongwe was legally and genuinely acquired as evidenced by the documents provided.

In his petition, he contended that ACC officers went ahead to seize the property without requesting for the documents to the house when they were readily available.

The former Tourism Minister   has cited ACC and its three employees who include acting Director General Silumesi Muchula, Gift Tembo and Kopano Chilembo.

 He claims a declaration that the investigative wing’s decision to purport to seize his house which is the real property is arbitrary, and breaches Articles 17 and 18 of the constitution.

He also wants the court to declare sections 71 and 78 of the forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act no.19 of 2019 as unconstitutional as they contravene Article 18 (2) (a) and (7) of the constitution.

The petitioner claims a declaration that sections 58 and 59 of the ACC Act no.3 of 2012 are unconstitutional as they deprive him to a right to privacy of home and other properties without following the due process of the law.

Mr Chitotela demands damages from the ACC officers.

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