Henry Kapoko Jailed For 2 Years.
Former Ministry of Health senior human resource and development officer and his co-accused colleague Edwin Ushibantu have been convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment each and asked to pay back K176, 220 to Government.
Magistrate Lameck Ng’ambi said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and found Kapoko and Ushibantu guilty of corrupt practices.
In the first account, Kapoko is charged with abuse of authority of office and in the second count, he is charged with corrupt practices by public officer. In the third count, Ushibantu is charged with corrupt practices with a public officer.
Mr. Ng’ambi found that Kapoko had no authority to commit the government to paying for students at ESU Nursing School when he had no position in the Ministry of Health structure to do so.
He said the duo’s act was arbitrary and that the K40, 000 that Ushibantu gave to Kapoko was a bribe to facilitate the illegal sponsorship of Ministry of Health staff to study at ESU School of Nursing.
Before sentencing, Kapoko asked the court, through his lawyer Kelvin Bwalya, to exercise leniency as he was a first offender and that he is responsible for seven children, the youngest being four years old and the oldest 20 years and attending university.
He said there were no special circumstances to warrant the court to deny him leniency and that there were no aggravating circumstances in the matter.
Kapoko said the shame which follows conviction will haunt him in his professional career, social and family life and further begged the court not to impose a custodial sentence.
Mr Ng’ambi said the offence committed by Kapoko and Ushibantu was serious and had a maximum sentence of 12 years imprisonment. He sentenced Kapoko to six months in jail in the first count.
In the second and third counts, Kapoko and Ushibantu were sentenced to two years imprisonment. In the case of Kapoko, the sentences are to run concurrently.
Mr. Ng’ambi also ordered Kapoko to reimburse Government the K40, 000 that he received and that Ushibantu is to pay back to Government K136, 220.