Chitotela Faces Arrest For Corruption Following Lifting Of Arrest Immunity

Ronald Chitotela
Ronald Chitotela


FORMER minister of housing and infrastructure Ronald Chitotela now faces arrest over his Ibex Hill house which law enforcement agencies suspect was harvested from corruption as the Economic and Financial Crimes Court has cancelled his immunity from prosecution.

The EFCC (High Court division) has declared that Chitotela’s exemption from prosecution for corruption by the Anti-graft body after he surrendered the house in exchange for freedom, has no legal effect.

The Anti-Corruption Commission had instituted proceedings to set aside the settlement agreement relating to cause no. CRIMP/28/2019 where he stood charged with nine corruption-related charges.

ACC wanted the immunity granted to Chitotela exempting him from prosecution to be set aside on grounds of misrepresentation and concealment of material facts.

Acting chief legal prosecutor Gloria Muyunda had submitted that Chitotela did not give the Commission correct information and surrender the real properties he acquired through corrupt activities as he gave up his partner’s house.

Muyunda said Chitotela’s wife Lillian Lufupa claimed ownership of the Ibex Hill house that was surrendered as part of the settlement agreement on reasons that she acquired and developed it from her employment earnings.

She submitted that Lillian demanded that the property be given back to her because it was acquired through legal means and that she had made substantial developments.

Chitotela argued that the ACC had failed to prove that the out of Court settlement entered into between them is liable to be set aside on the ground of misrepresentation and concealment of material facts.

The Pambashe constituency member of parliament had argued that the ACC has not particularised or produced evidence of misrepresentation.

High Court judge Susan Wanjelani, in delivering judgement on behalf judge Ann Ononuju and Mwanajiti Mabbolobbolo said it was illogical for Chitotela’s lawyers Andrew Kampamba Kombe and Benjamin Mwelwa to argue that the EFCC can ignore its earlier findings and deal with the same issue in an academic exercise of finding merits and demerits of the arguments relating to the setting aside of the immunity.

“We therefore find it otiose to go into detailed analysis or arguments over an agreement which was void ab initio,” judge Wanjelani said.

She stated that there in no evidence on record to prove that Chitotela entered into a bargain with the ACC and surrendered his house in Ibex Hill as part of the purported out of Court settlement which the wife claims legal ownership.

“We find that there is no valid out of Court Settlement to set aside as the said settlement agreement was void ab initio. However as the said settlement agreement was filed into Court, we proceed through the academic motions of setting it aside and hereby do so,” said judge Wanjelani.

She ordered the parties to bear their own costs and denied Chitotela leave to appeal.



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