Zambia’s Infrastructure Minister Ronald Chitotela denied corruption charges in court on Tuesday following his arrest a fortnight ago in a rare case of a government official being pursued by investigators.
Mr Chitotela, who was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) along with three others, faces two corruption charges for allegedly concealing ownership of two properties “reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime”.
“I understand the charge and plead not guilty,” Mr Chitotela, 47, told magistrate David Simusamba who ordered he stand trial from March 20.
His co-accused also pleaded not guilty to the charges, which potentially carry a prison term of up to five years on conviction.
The properties in question are in Lusaka’s upmarket suburbs of Makeni and Ibex Hill areas.
Hundreds of Mr Chitotela’s supporters chanted outside the court.