Former PS Ministry of High Education nabbed for corruption

 Former PS Ministry of High Education nabbed for corruption

By Staff Writer

The Anti-Corruption Commission has arrested former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education Owen Mugemenzulu for corrupt practices involving over $33million.

Mr Mugemezulu 52, of Lusaka has been arrested and charged with one count of wilful failure to comply with applicable law and procedure relating to procurement contrary.

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 (US$225,000,000.00) for the design and build of the FTJ Chiluba University in Mansa and Kasama under the Ministry of Higher Education.

ACC Spokesperson Queen Chibwe said Investigations have established that pursuant to the contract, an advance payment amounting US$ 33,750,000.00 was paid to the contractor between February 2018 and June 2018 for works to commence.

Ms Chibwe said 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.

He 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.

Mr Mugemezulu has since been detained in Police custody and is expected to appear before court on Friday April 29, 2022.

Alice Nachilembe

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.