I lodged below my standards-Chirwa

 FORMER Zambia Railways Limited chief executive officer Clive Chirwa has insisted that he lowered his standards by lodging at a cheap apartment in Lusaka in 2012.

Chirwa said this in his defence after he was found with a case to answer by Principal Magistrate Obster Musukwa.

This is in a matter in which Chirwa, 58, of plot 206/101 Ibex Hill in Lusaka, and Regina Mwale, 50, of 5 Chavuma Road, Highridge in Kabwe, are charged with corruption and abuse of authority.

Chirwa said as chief executive officer, he was supposed to be accommodated at a five- star Hotel.

He told the magistrates court in Lusaka yesterday that his standards were ‘’lowered to zero’’ when he accepted to be accommodated at Fallsway Apartments while his house was being renovated in Kabwe.

Chirwa said it was unfair for the board to complain about his stay at the apartment as it was a right of all government officials such as permanent secretaries, ministers and other senior officials to be accommodated in lodges or hotels while waiting to be offered with accommodation.

He said he was surprised that the board treated him so unfairly when it was cheaper and reasonable for him to stay at Fallsway Apartments were he only paid  K72,227.71  far less than what he could have paid at the Intercontinental hotel which could have been about K275,000.00.

Chirwa added that he had no idea who was paying for his accommodation until he went to the Ministry where he was told that it was the Zambia Railway Limited who were paying for his accommodation.

He also told the court that Zambia Railways Limited did not give him an appointment letter but an offer letter because an appointment letter was always attached with a contract.

Chirwa is charged in the first count with failure to declare interest contrary to section 28 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act number 3 of 2012 when he allowed his Clavel Incorporation Limited to bid for contracts in the railway company.

It is alleged that Chirwa on dates unknown but between November 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 in Lusaka, being a public officer, as CEO of Zambia Railways Limited, did recommend at the Zambia Railways board meeting that Clavel Incorporation Limited, a company in which he is an officer and shareholder, be given a contract to train employees of the railway company without disclosing his interest.

In count two, Chirwa and Mwale are charged with abuse of authority of office contrary to section 21 (1) a of the ACC Act number 3 of 2012.

Magistrate Musukwa has adjourned the matter to today for commencement of defence of Chirwa’s co-accused Regina Mwale.