By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
EX-MINSTER Ronald Chitotela has been granted leave by the High Court to commence contempt proceedings against the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) acting Director General Silumesi Muchula and 10 others for breach of an agreement not to institute criminal proceedings against him.
Mr Chitotela who served as Minister of Tourism in the Patriotic Front regime sought leave of the Lusaka High Court to begin contempt proceedings against the ACC and its officers.
Mr Chitotela in his application claimed that ACC committed contempt of court to record a warn and caution statement from him for purposes of an arrest and prosecution relating to a property known as Subdivision A2 Lot L/3270/M Ibex Hill in Lusaka which was forfeited to the State and it made the undertaking not to institute criminal proceedings against him as registered in the subordinate court.
He said he was on April 19 and 26, 2022, summoned for interviews at the ACC offices with respect to its alleged investigations.
He said during the course of the interviews, he was warned and cautioned with respect to the property in question.
“ It is hereby ordered and directed that the applicant is at liberty to make an application to this court for an order of committal and that leave to commence contempt proceedings against the 11 be and is hereby granted,” read the ex parte order.
The alleged contemnors cited in the documents are ACC, Muchula, Ivor Mukwanka, Dorothy Cheelo, Glenda Mungalaba, and Raymond Chiboola.
Others are ACC spokesperson Queen Chibwe, Stella Mulenga, Martin Mayembe, Gift Tembo, Kopanp Chilembo and Edwin Mbewe.
In 2019, Mr Chitotela was arrested and prosecuted for the offence of concealing of property suspected of being proceeds of crime contrary to section 71 (1) Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act no.19 of 2010 of the laws of Zambia.
Facts were that on dates unknown but between May 1, 2017 and October 30, 2018 in Lusaka, Mr Chitotela did conceal the said property disguised in the names of Lillian Lufupa Chitotela, property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
He was re-arrested this month but walked to freedom after the Economic and Financial Crimes Court discharged him owing to his settlement agreement with the ACC.
Transferred Magistrate Jennifer Bwalya discharged Mr. Chitotela on the basis that he had entered into a settlement agreement with the ACC for the institution not to commence criminal proceedings against him and the immunity was still in force.