Frederick Chiluba Acquitted!
So read the screaming headlines in the Zambia newspapers on 18th August 2009.
After a grueling 8 year trial, Ndola High Court Registrar Jones Chinyama on 17th August 2009 acquitted former president Frederick Chiluba on all counts of embezzling public funds amounting to US$500,000.
However, his co-accused, Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu were convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment.
Chinyama, who sat in Lusaka as a magistrate, said he was acquitting Chiluba because although the state showed that government money was used to pay for Chiluba and his children, there was money which went into the Zamtrop account from unexplained sources and for that reason, he gave Chiluba a benefit of doubt.
As for Chungu, it was noted that he had failed to explain the source of the funds that he used to pay for his shares in Access Financial Services and Puku Pan, a safari company. Magistrate Chinyama concluded that Chungu had failed to give an explanation for being in possession of funds reasonably suspected to have been stolen.
According to Chiluba, God had a hand in this favorable judgment. He said: I want to thank Almighty God and the praying
saints. People prayed at church, people prayed in their various homes. I want to say to all of you that God is faithful and
God loves you. For 8 long years, the devil had tried to put a stigma of a thief on me. The lord has dealt with the devil.
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It all started as a thought, about making my journey by TAZARA. You see, I have been planning on going to Nakonde by train, the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority – TAZARA.