In 2009 Henry Kapoko and four others were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission. 11 years later in 2020, the man – KAPOKO is still appearing in Courts of Law. There are hard Lessons to be Learnt and some friendly warning to others.
Cases may take long (Imilandu kuti shilakokola) in Zambia to be disposed off in courts of law. Lawyers, Attorneys still have to be paid all those years (Ama Lawyer bakuswamo). Friends become few. Girlfriends lie low and others go into hibernation. Political connections and ties are cut. Government Officials get dismissed and voted out of the Office. Cadres and cheer leaders distance themselves from the accused. Some family members wear down, get tired while others give up. Potential loss of a job, business opportunities and connections, association and reputation, brand name, integrity and social respect. The collateral damage may not be easily quantified or tabulated with the help of a diagram. Real life hard lessons for others to stay away from criminal activities. Life is simple, don’t complicate it. Bola panshi.
High Court Upholds Kapoko’s Conviction on Appeal by Jonathan Siame|Published May 12, 2020========The Lusaka High Court has upheld the conviction of former Ministry of Health Chief Human Resource Development Officer, Henry Kapoko, Zukas Musonda Kaoma and Evaristo Musaba for theft, theft by public servant and money laundering involving over K6 million. Two others namely Jasper Justine Phiri an accountant and Vincent Luhana an Internal Auditor have been acquitted.
This follows an appeal by Kapoko and the four named above in 2018 against the conviction and sentence after the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court found them guilty of theft and money laundering. They were subsequently sentenced to five years for theft, nine years each for money laundering and a further nine years each for theft by public servant. The Magistrate Court ordered that the sentences for money laundering and theft by public servant were to run consecutively which meant that they were to serve a total of 18 years in prison.
On appeal, the High Court presided by three judges namely Hon. Justice Chisunka, Hon. Lady Justice C.L. Phiri and Hon Lady Justice Chibbabbuka found that the trial Court properly convicted Henry Mulenga Kapoko, Zukas Musonda Kaoma and Evaristo Musaba as the prosecution had proved all the elements of the offences charged beyond all reasonable doubt. The High Court therefore upheld the convictions on the counts of theft, theft by public servant and money laundering. The High Court has however, found that there was no evidence proving the charges against Jasper Justine Phiri and Vincent Luhana and subsequently acquitted them, setting them free.
On the sentencing employed by the Magistrate’s Court, the High Court found that the consecutive sentence imposed was wrong in principle and consequently, replaced it with a concurrent sentence which subsequently reduced the term to be served from 18 years to 9 years. With respect to the statutory judgement and the forfeiture orders against Henry Mulenga Kapoko, Zukas Musonda Kaoma and Evaristo Musaba, the High Court found that the appeal lacked merit and consequently dismissed it. This means that the forfeited properties from Kapoko, Kaoma and Musaba will be retained by the State and that the process of recovering the stolen K6million from the three convicts will proceed accordingly. Meanwhile, the Court allowed the appeal relating to Kapoko’s ownership of a Toyota Lexus Registration number 2336 and subsequently ordered that he is given back the vehicle.