Court convicts Viola, Chingola over abuse of office, influence public officer, respectively

Principal Magistrate Viva Nyimba has convicted former Deputy Chief executive officer for National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) Gerald Viola and his business accomplice Chrispine Chingola.

Nyimba has since revoked bail for Gerald Viola and Chingola awaiting judgement to be delivered on 27 February 2023.

Nyimba, in his judgement, said the state had proven beyond reasonable doubt that the two committed offences and that the defence in the case failed to give valid reasons to maintain bail; hence, the revocation.

Gerald Viola: convicted

According to the Anti-Corruption Bureau charge sheet, on 22nd January, 2020, when he was Deputy Chief Executive Officer of NFRA, Viola unilaterally issued a local purchase order (LPO) Number 6750 to a company called Missies Trading to supply 10, 000 metric tons of maize to NFRA for the advantage of Chingola of the said Missies Trading without involving the Internal Procurement and Disposal of Assets Committee.

Viola was charged with counts of misuse of public office, interfering with public procurement and forgery. However, the court dropped the other cases and convicted Viola on misuse of public office count.

On the other hand, Nyimba convicted his accomplice Chingola on a count of influencing a public officer to misuse a public office. The two have since been confined to Maula Prison awaiting sentencing.

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