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Figure jumps to K283 million in Accountant General’s fraud case

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Taurai Banda

The amount of money suspected to have been stolen at the Accountant General’s (AG) office has jumped from K159 million to K283 million, state prosecutors have confirmed.

This was revealed during hearing of a bail application of four additional people who were arrested on Thursday.

Angelina Mbale, Angela Chiphiko, Hastings Genela and Anderson Mwakiyelu, who are accountants at the AG’s office, have been added to the list of other five accounts personnel who were arrested and released on bail last week, bringing the total number of suspects to nine.

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They appeared before Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Khoswe Chimwaza to be formally informed of their detention. Their bail hearing is on Monday.

“The money has risen from K159 million to K283 million and more arrests are expected as investigations continue,” State Prosecutor Isaac Kadawayula said.

Kadawayula asked the court not to release the suspects on bail as the matter is still under investigation.

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“The matter has attracted public interest, if the accused are released on bail they may compromise our investigations and could interfere with state witnesses,” he told the court.

But one of the lawyers representing the accused persons, Ronald Phombeya, said the state has not demonstrated to the court how the accused persons could interfere with the investigations.

The accountants have been arrested on suspicion that they were getting money from various government agencies through allowances.

The five who were arrested last week are: Estone Nephan Sani, Kondwani Luka, Phylis Kainja, Micuis Chikapusa and Verekeni Mpinganjira, on a similar charge.

Times investigations revealed that officers at the AG’s department, including senior ones, were getting more than 40 days allowances per month.

Commenting on the matter after initial arrests, Treasury Spokesperson, Taurai Banda said investigations revealed that some members of staff were involved in dubious transactions for personal gains.

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