Trial in a matter in which ex- Health Permanent Secretary, Kennedy Malama, and eight others are jointly charged for allegedly failing to stick to procurement guidelines during the purchase of 50 ambulances has failed to take off in the Lusaka magistrate court.
This was after one of the defense Lawyers made an application to adjourn the matter on grounds that accused, Francis Bwalya, 55, was unwell.
State Prosecutor, Daniel Ngwira, did not object to the application to adjourn the matter.
Magistrate Sandford Ngobola then adjourned the matter to June 22, 2023 for continuation of trial.
In this matter, Malama, 53, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Administration, Caroline Kakulubelwa Mulalelo and seven others pleaded not guilty to willful failure to comply with applicable law and procedure contrary to Section 34 (2) (b) of the Anti-Corruption Act number 3 of 2012.
Other accused persons include: Francis Bwalya, 55, Gardener Syakantu, Muzaza Nthele, 48, of house number 2801 Meanwood Ndeke, Rebecca Ndhlovu, 60, a retiree and farmer of Zambia Airways area, Maximillian Bweupe, 51, Wilson Lungu, 37, a chief procurement officer under the Ministry of Mines and Jabbin Mulwanda.
Read more: Court adjourns trial of case involving former Health Permanent Secretary, Malama, 9 others
All the nine accused persons pleaded not guilty to four counts of wilful failure to comply with applicable law and procedure.
It is alleged in count three that Malama, Bwalya, Nthele, Njobvu, Bweupu and Lungu are alleged to have between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 being person’s whose functions concern management and use of public revenue jointly and whilst acting together with other’s unknown did willfully fail to comply with the law.
This was after they approved MPC paper No.131 of 2017 which recommended the use of limited biding international as the appropriate method of procurement without following the laid down procedures as prescribed by the public procurement Act No 12 of 2008 read together with public procurement regulations of 2011.
In the last count, Malama, Lungu, Mulwanda and Kakulubelwa being persons whose functions concern management administration and use of public revenue, jointly and whilst acting together did willfully fail to comply with the law.
This was after they awarded contact number MOH/SP/004/17 to IVECO South Africa (pty) limited of contract sum of thirteen million seven hundred and fifty thousand united states’ dollars (US$13,750,000 for the supply and delivery of 50 ambulance’s without following laid down procedures as prescribed by the procurement Act No 12 of 2008 read together with public procurement regulations of 2011.
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