McPherson Chanda

An Accountant in the office of the Accountant General has told the Ndola Magistrate Court how ZamPost misappropriated the Social Cash Transfer funds by instructing the bank to first deposit the funds in a fixed deposit account.

Elijah Kapotwe, 53 of Lusaka, a principal accountant at the Ministry of Finance said that it is only the controlling officer who is responsible for the identification for investment of funds appropriated under the Ministry of Community Development.

In this matter, McPherson Chanda, Best Mwaichi and Isaac Kamwimba appeared before the fast track Economic and financial crimes court under Magistrate Kaunda Sakwanda.

In December 2021 the Drug Enforcement Commission and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) arrested former Postmaster General, Macpherson Chanda and two directors for corrupt practices involving over K300 million.

The trio, in their capacities as Postmaster General, Director of Finance and Director of Operations, respectively, were said to have unlawfully diverted social cash transfer funds amounting to K335,108,834.00 without lawful authority.

ZANIS reports that in all the counts, Chanda and Mwaichi are charged with theft by public servant contrary to Section 265 as read with section 277 of the penal code.

Chanda, Mwaichi and Kamwimba all pleaded not guilty to the charges respectively.

When the matter came up for continued trial, Kapotwe told the court that funds for social cash transfer are appropriated by

Parliament to be disbursed to social beneficiaries by following the social protection guidelines.

“The social cash transfer funds are appropriated by parliament to be disbursed to social benefits to beneficiaries identified through the social protection guidelines and were not appropriated as investment funds.

“And therefore, where the controlling officer under the ministry of community development needed to apply the funds as investment funds, she was required that the Secretary to the treasury take such investment,” said Kapotwe.

He said he reviewed the status of the investment of the funds which were generated by ZAMPOST and some irregularities existed and that the social cash transfer was appropriated to the Ministry’s edge of revenue and expenditure.

Kapotwe said the person mandated to oversee the execution of such funds was the Permanent Secretary as the only officer mandated to request for the investment of funds appropriated.

Kapotwe said the first irregularity is that the letters were generated by ZAMPOST and not the controlling officer and second being that of misapplication of the interest earned.

He added that the arrangement between ZAMPOST and the ministry of community development, was that ZAMPOST was an agent to disburse the social cash transfer funds to beneficiaries and was to be paid commission

And a former assistant manager operations at ZAMPOST Moses Musonda said he was a signatory based on instructions.

Musonda testified that the authority came from Postmaster General, Director Finance and Director of Operations.

Magistrate Sakwanda then adjourned the matter to March 29, 2022 for continuation of trial.

The former ZAMPOST postmaster General and his co- accused are charged with 13 counts of theft by public servant.


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