Former higher education ministry PS arrested

 Former higher education ministry PS arrested

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has arrested former Ministry of Higher Education Permanent Secretary Owen Mugemenzulu for corrupt practices involving over 33 million United States Dollars.

Speaking in a statement, ACC Spokesperson Queen Chibwe says Mr Mugemezulu, has been arrested and charged with one count of willful failure to comply with applicable law and procedure relating to procurement.

Ms Chibwe said the arrest is in connection with a contract he is alleged to have signed in 2017 with a construction company called China Energy Engineering Group-Hunan Power Design
Institute Co. Ltd worth Two Hundred and Twenty Five Million United States Dollars for the design and build of the FTJ Chiluba University in Mansa and Kasama under the Ministry of Higher Education.

“The investigations have established that pursuant to the contract, an advance payment
amounting to US$ 33,750,000 was paid to the contractor between February 2018 and June 2018 for works to commence, to date, the works performed on the two sites by the contractor are not commensurate with the amount paid in advanced to the contractor and the project has since stalled,” she said.

Ms Chibwe said it has been established that Mr Mugemezulu signed the contract without following
tender procedures and without subjecting the said contract to Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) for approval.

Ms Chibwe also said that Mr. Mugemezulu has since been detained in Police custody and is expected to appear on Friday 29th, 2022.