STATE House says health minister Chitalu Chlufya is innocent of all corruption charges until proven guilty by the courts of law.

Last week, the Anti-Corruption Commission arrested Dr Chilufya and charged him with four counts of possessing property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

And stakeholders have called on President Lungu to drop Dr Chilufya from his ministerial position to facilitate further investigations.

Responding to stakeholders’ concerns, State House said an allegation is not a conviction.

“According to Article 18(2) of the Zambian Constitution, every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he or she is proven or pleads guilty. And since the Zambia Constitution, as stated in Article 1 (1), overrides any other written law, or customary law, or customary practice, everyone must respect the Presumption of Innocence Law,” President Edgar Lungu’s spokesperson Isaac Chimpampe stated in a statement yesterday.

“…Despite being charged with criminal offences, in this case corruption allegations, Hon. Chilufya is currently innocent until proven otherwise by the courts of law. This assumption is predicated on the principle of Presumption of Innocence, which is enshrined in the Constitution of Zambia and is consistent with according an accused fair trial. Therefore, a mere allegation is not a conviction and it is not the duty of the accused to prove his innocence. The principle Presumption of Innocence until proven guilty by the courts of law is also enshrined in the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights.”

He stated that Dr Chilufya remained innocent in the eyes of President Lungu until the courts of law proved him otherwise.

“The President respects the independence of the Judiciary and other organs such as the Police, the Anti-Corruption Commission, and the Drug Enforcement Commission, among others, and will do nothing to interfere in the operations of these entities as long as he remains President,” stated Chipampe.

“His Excellency, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, will, therefore, presume the innocence of Hon. Chilufya and leave it to the prosecution and the courts to prove the minister, otherwise.”

When there were allegations of misapplication of the social cash transfer at the implementing ministry of Community Development, President Lungu dismissed the minister in charge Emerine Kabanshi, who is currently appearing in court.


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