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LUSAKA (Reuters) – A Zambian court has sentenced the former head of the air force to six years in jail after he was found guilty of stealing government property for use in two of his homes, state radio reported on Tuesday.

Christopher Singogo, who served as air force commander under former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba, becomes the latest high profile figure to be jailed for corruption in the mineral-rich southern African country.

“Former Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Commander Christopher Singogo has been sentenced to six years imprisonment with hard labor,” ZNBC radio reported.

Western donors and international agencies have praised Zambia’s government for tackling corruption as part of an anti-graft campaign introduced by Chiluba’s successor, Levy Mwanawasa, who died in August last year.

The broadcaster said Singogo was found guilty of theft and abuse of authority after he diverted power generators and equipment purchased for the air force to two lodges he owned.

Chiluba, who was Zambia’s president for two five-year terms between 1991 and 2001, faces charges of stealing $488,000 in public funds. He has denied any wrongdoing.

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