High Court upholds Gen. Singogo’s 6-year jail term
By Staff Reporter
THE Lusaka High Court has upheld the six years jail term slapped on former Zambia Air Force Commander Christopher Singogo for abuse of authority of office and theft by public servant.
Lt Gen. Singogo appealed against his conviction and sentence by then chief resident magistrate Charles Kafunda in 2009.
Lt. Gen. Singogo who starts serving his sentence effective yesterday, Monday was the ZAF commander during the Frederick Chiluba government.
But delivering judgment yesterday, High Court judges Mwila Chitabo, Sharon Newa and Catherine Phiri said they have found no fault with the judgement of the lower court and upheld it.
Judge Chitabo said Gen. Singogo was given an opportunity to explain to the court how he procured the generators installed at his two premises but he failed to give a convincing explanation.
“He was given an opportunity to give an account but there was some discrepancies and inconsistencies in his statement. He should have raised a reasonable doubt as to his case. We are satisfied that the State satisfied its allegations against him and there was no doubt raised in the mind of the court below regarding the guilty of the appellant,” judge Chitabo said.
The judge said it was clear that Gen. Singogo’s intention was to permanently deprive the government of its property.
“We therefore, find no reason to reverse the finding of the lower court when it found that the appellant committed theft by public servant. The appeal fails,” he said.
On Gen. Singogo’s argument that the sentence was too harsh, judge Chitabo said the court found no fault with the sentence and that they would not temper with it.
And judge Chitabo said since Gen. Singogo had been on bail since 2009, his sentence was effective yesterday, Monday.
Gen. Singogo was charged with abuse of authority of office involving two generators valued at over K85 million which he bought using ZAF money and had them installed at his guesthouses namely Wane Guest Lodge in Livingstone and Wasingo Guest Inn at PHI in Lusaka.
In the second count, Singogo was jointly charged with his former aide-de-camp (ADC) Captain Joseph Phiri, of ZAF Lusaka Base, a pilot for theft by public servant involving a standby power generator valued at K32,153,800.00 but the latter was acquitted by the magistrate court due to insufficient evidence.