Zambia’s Health Minister Arrested for Corruption

Published: 25 June 2020

Chitalu ChilufyaMinister of Health Chitalu Chilufya. (Photo: Simon Berry, CC BY-SA 2.0)

By Sandrine Gagné-Acoulon

Zambian authorities have detained the country’s health minister on Wednesday over corruption and money laundering allegations but have released him on bond immediately after questioning. 

A statement from the Anti-Corruption Commission said that Dr. Chitalu Chilufya has been charged with “possession of property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.”  

According to the Zambian Watchdog, a local news outlet, Chilufya has in May been suspected by the anti-graft body of having stolen around US$2,5 million from his ministry but was not arrested after three government officials allegedly threatened investigators.

The outlet also claimed that Chilufya had lied about having tested positive for COVID-19 to avoid arrest. It further said that he was mentioned in the 2018 Zambian Financial Intelligence Centre Trend Report as the “politically exposed person” who accepted 49 residential properties from a foreign construction company in return for juicy contracts. 

Chilufya is expected to appear before the Court of Lusaka on July 9, 2020.