THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has taken over the management of five seized properties from former Human Resource Manager at the Ministry of Health Henry Kapoko.
This follows a court ruling by the Principal Resident Magistrate Exornobert Zulu made on August 27, 2014.
In the case, Mr Kapoko is facing 69 counts of theft by public servant, failing to account for possessions reasonably suspected to have been stolen, and money laundering contrary to the Laws of Zambia. ACC Public Relations Manager, Timothy Moono confirmed that the ACC had seized five properties from Kapoko.
The properties were seized in 2009 during the course of investigations into the Ministry of Health K10 billion (unrebased) inquiry.
Mr Moono stated that the properties that have been seized include House No 25, Manda Hill Road in Olympia, Lusaka, property No. 7791 of Buluwe Road, and Woodlands Extension in Lusaka, property No. Subdivision B of Lot 3325/M in Ibex Hill, Lusaka.
Others are property No. 13947, off Mulungushi Road, Roma town in Lusaka trading as Best Home Lodge, and Property No. 13949, off Mulungushi Road, Roma town in Lusaka which is a double storey building and is incomplete. Mr Moono said the court ordered on 27th August, 2014, that the Commission should continue managing the Properties including the collection of rentals until the matter was disposed of by the Courts of Law.
The properties have since been tendered as exhibits in court and trial in the matter continues.
But in a letter before action for judicial review to the Attorney General Musa Mwenye, dated 2nd September,2014 authored by his lawyers Eric Silwamba, Jalasi and Linyama Legal Practitioners, and copied to the ACC Director General, Mr Kapoko contended that the action by the ACC implies that he has now forfeited the properties to the Government even before he has been convicted by the Courts.
Mr Kapoko argued that this is clearly illegal as it is contrary to the provisions of Articles 16 and 18 of the Constitution of Zambia Act, Chapter 1, Volume 1 of the Laws of Zambia which offers protection from deprivation of property and the right to secure protection of the law when charged with a criminal offence respectively.
He has stated that the procedure and jurisdiction to take over property pursuant to the provisions of the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering Act no.14 of 2001 were clearly spelt out and that the steps taken by the State were contrary to the established procedure.
Mr Kapoko said from the facts pertaining to the circumstances of the matter, it was clear that the purported take-over of his properties was premature and not supported by any statutory or legal basis.
Mr Kapoko has since indicated to the Attorney General through his lawyers his intention to seek judicial review of the decision of the ACC to take over management and control of his property.