ACB arrests five over K33.5 million payroll fraud

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested five people over a K33.5 million payroll fraud in which health workers who had resigned at Salima District Hospital were not removed from the Government payroll.

ACB Principal Public Relations Officer Egrita Ndala said three of the suspects were arrested on Monday while two were arrested yesterday.

According to Ndala, on 3rd June 2019, the Anti-Corruption Bureau received an anonymous allegation that Salima District Hospital Clerk, Mr. Ahmed Elias Kazembe and another Human Resources Management Officer connived to maintain names of some members of staff on government payroll, yet the staff resigned in 2017.

The Bureau’s investigations revealed that Brandina Tamala Chiwaya who worked as a nurse at Salima District Hospital from 2014-2016 continued receiving salary up to 2017.  Another health worker, Limbani Mateyu,  worked as a Medical Assistant from 2007-2018 but received salary up to 2019.

The third health worker is Chisomo Tumeo, Medical Technician, who worked at the hospital from 2011-2018 received salary up to 2019. Jane Msuku Mwalabu worked as a nurse from 2011 to 2017 continued receiving salary.

It was also established that Ahmed Elias Kazembe who worked as a clerical officer, received various sums of money from the people he had maintained on the payroll. The detectable total sum of public funds involved is MK33,500,000.00

On Monday this week, he Bureau arrested Blandina Tamala Chiwaya, Limbani Mateyu and Chisomo Tumeo. They are suspected to have committed fraud other than false pretence contrary to Section 319 (A) (c) of the Penal Code and Money laundering contrary to section 42 (1) (c) of the Financial Crimes Act.

The three were taken to Salima Magistrate’s Court on the 22nd September 2021 where they were granted bail after paying 100,000 cash bond each K500,000.00 not cash.

On 22nd September 2021, the Bureau arrested Ahmed Elias Kazembe and Jane Msuku Mwalabu. Ahmed Elias Kazembe will be facing charges of misuse of public office contrary to section 25B of the Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering contrary to section 42 (1) (c) of the Financial Crimes Act whereas Jane Msuku  Mwalabu will be answering charges of fraud other than false pretence contrary to section 319 (A) (c) of the Penal Code and section 42 (1) (c) of the Financial Crimes Act.

The two will appear in Court after the Bureau has finished interviewing them.

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