Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) Bosses Slapped With 3 Charges
THE Drug Enforcement Commission (D.E.C) has slapped three charges on former Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) president Evelyn Nguleka and executive director Ndambo Ndambo for alleged misapplication of K34 million donor funds.
The DEC has jointly charged and arrested Dr Nguleka, 46, of plot No. 2752, Ndeke Meanwood in Lusaka and Mr Ndambo, 43, of farm number 87a/ D/ 26, Chongwe, with money laundering, theft by servant and obtaining money by false pretences.
DEC public relations officer Theresa Katongo said in a statement yesterday that: “The duo is jointly charged with theft by servant, obtaining money by false pretences and money laundering contrary to the laws of Zambia. The suspects are currently on police bond and will appear in court soon.” On Monday, ZNFU said Dr Nguleka had resigned her position ahead of a court case regarding allegations of misapplication of K34 million donor funds.
Particulars of the offence are that on dates unknown but between November 1, 2012 and December 31, 2015, Mr Ndambo, jointly and whilst acting together with Dr Nguleka and other persons unknown, did fraudulently authorise the transfer of K906,750.00 from the ZNFU account to R. N Parks and Gardens.
It is alleged that Mr Ndambo purported to show that the said payments were for landscaping and plumbing works at ZNFU when in fact he engaged RN Parks and Gardens to carry out construction and landscaping works at his farm in Chongwe.
Ms Katongo also said it is alleged that Dr Nguleka and Mr Ndambo, on dates unknown but between November 1, 2012 and December 31, 2015, did fraudulently authorise withdrawals of a sum of US$ 15,000.00 from the ZNFU dollar account purporting that the said funds were for various members of staff attending conferences in South Africa when in fact not.
Ms Katongo said in the third count, on dates unknown but between November 1, 2012 and December 31, 2015, Mr Ndambo, jointly and whilst acting together with other unknown persons, did fraudulently obtain household furniture from Décor More Investments Limited valued at K169,000.00 which was paid for by drawing cheques on the ZNFU account. The said cheques were meant for procuring ZNFU office furniture but the furniture ended up at Mr Ndambo’s house.
Embassies of Finland and Sweden who funded ZNFU instituted independent audits that revealed alleged glaring embezzlement of over K34 million.
The donors have since withheld funding to ZNFU and demanded a refund of their money saying it came from taxpayers in their respective countries.
Mean while, Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has welcomed Dr Nguleka’s resignation from her position ahead of her court case in which she is alleged to have misapplied donor funds.
TIZ is also happy with the DEC’s decision to arrest and charge Dr Nguleka and Mr Ndambo in connection with the alleged misapplication of donor funds.
TIZ information officer Charles Chuulu said the move will enable Mr Ndambo and Dr Nguleka to explain what happened at ZNFU and provide the way forward should they be found wanting.
Mr Chuulu urged institutions tasked with managing resources for uplifting people’s lives to operate above board without raising questions in the minds of the public and donors about who they deal with and how they spend their money.