Zambia's former spy chief jailed for stealing six vehicles

Lusaka- Zambia (PANA) -- Former director-general of the Zambia Security Intelligence Services, Xavier Chungu, has been arrested and detained on charges of stealing six motor vehicles while he was the country's spy master.
Nason Banda, spokesperson for the Task Force appointed by government to probe cases of corruption and theft of state funds, said Chungu was arrested Wednesday night from his home in Lusaka after a six-hour search.
Some personal items that include videos and documents were seized during the search, he said.
Chungu was now being held in cells at a police station in the suburb of Woodlands.
He was expected to be transferred to Kamwala remand prison after a court appearance.
In Zambia, a motor vehicle theft charge does not allow the accused person to leave jail on bail.
At Kamwala remand prison Chungu will become the second senior official from the previous administration of former president Frederick Chiluba to be kept there.
He joins Chiluba's special assistant for press and public relations Richard Sakala incarcerated there on a similar charge.
Sakala will appear before a court on 20 August.
Both men, ironically, are being held under a statute that Chiluba enacted into law two years ago to deal with Archie MacTribuoy, a man whom he suspected of having an affair with his wife, Vera.
Former information and broadcasting services minister, Vernon Mwaanga, has already called for a judicial review of the law, saying it was unjust.
Mwaanga said that at the time the law was being formulated, many cabinet ministers had rejected it.
But Chiluba had insisted and made it into law.
Now even the former president is afraid that it could be used against him once his immunity from prosecution has been lifted, he said.
Apart from theft, Chungu is facing two other charges of abuse of office and converting state funds amounting to six million US dollars to personal use.
Chungu was arrested a month ago together with Faustin Kabwe, former managing director of Access Financial Services Limited and Atan Shansonga, Zambia's former ambassador to the US.
The three are accused of stealing 5,848,000 dollars in state funds.
Government has appointed a task force combining the efforts of the Drug Enforcement Commission, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Zambia Police to establish the whereabouts of the wealth stolen from Zambia during the 10 years in which Chiluba was president of the country.

16 august 2002 13:21:00

xhtml CSS