GOVERNMENT cleared former Chief Justice Mathew Ngulube of wrong doing six years after it was established that he did not solicit for the US$17,474:15 he received from President Frederick Chiluba and that he did not know that it was funds drawn from the Zamtrop account, an agreement in the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP)’s office signed in 2009 between the parties to the matter has revealed.
In 2002 after ferocious attacks from the Post Newspaper inspired by suspended DPP Mutembo Nchito accusing him of having received US$ 168,000 from President Chiluba, Justice Ngulube stepped down to allow for investigations.
Subsequent investigations revealed that President Chiluba, in fact, paid US$ 17,474:15 to the schools that Justice Ngulube’s children attended.
This is according to an agreement dated April 16, 2009 which was co-signed by six parties which included Justice Ngulube, DPP then Chalwe Mchenga and Taskforce on Corruption executive chairperson Maxwell Nkole (late).
Others were Sydney Siafwa, a Police officer, Diamond Likashi, coordinator of operations of the Taskforce on Corruption and Mr James Mwanakaile from the DPP’s office.
The matter was investigated by the Taskforce on Corruption which was established by President Levy Mwanawasa (late) and Mr Nchito was the lead investigator.
After it was established that Justice Ngulube did not know the source of the money he was given by Dr Chiluba, it was agreed by the parties that as a way of effecting closure to the matters surrounding the receipt of the money, the former Chief Justice should refund it into a Government account.
“Mathew Micha Samson Wathaba Ngulube acknowledges receipt of unsolicited financial gifts from the then President of the Republic of Zambia in the sum of US$ 17,474.15. The Government now allege that the sum of money was drawn by the said President from public funds. Mathew Ngulube did not and does not now know the source of the said money.
“By the act of payment alone, this matter is brought to a close and the said Mathew Micha Samson Wathaba Ngulube is cleared of any wrong doing in his former office of the Chief Justice of Zambia,” the agreement reads.
During investigations, it was established that there was no evidence suggesting that the money was a reward or gratification for anything he could have done on behalf of President .
It is because of this finding that Justice Sakala was cleared and he even agreed to refund the money into an account designated by the Taskforce on Corruption while the Zambia Revenue Authority withdraw the assessment earlier made on the basis that the amount which was received was income.
“That by the said payment Mathew Ngulube does not admit any culpability whether criminal or civil it being clearly understood that the receipt of the said money was not given as gratification or reward for anything done by Mathew Ngulube for or on behalf of or for the benefit of the then President of the Republic of Zambia Zambia Dr Frederick Chiluba,” the agreement reads.
Mr Nchito has argued that Justice Ngulube cannot sit on the Annel Silungwe tribunal because he was allegedly conflicted because he benefited from the Zamtrop account.
He however avoids stating that his Zambian Airways was a beneficiary of US$50,000.
Mr Nchito does not also state whether he refunded the money when he learnt was public funds.