Probe team summons RB

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THE joint government investigations team (JGIT)has summoned former President Rupiah Banda to appear before investigators at the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) offices tomorrow to answer allegations of criminal activities committed when he was in power.
On Friday, Parliament stripped Mr Banda of his immunity following a unanimous vote on the motion, thereby paving way for his prosecution.
JGIT spokesperson Namukolo Kasumpe confirmed in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the former president is expected to avail himself at the DEC offices.
“I can confirm that he [Mr Banda] will be appearing at DEC offices on Monday morning at 10:00 hours,” she said.
And a source close to Mr Banda said the summons were delivered to the former president’s residence yesterday morning.
“Officials from the government investigations team this morning went to Mr Banda’s residence and delivered a summons.  It was around 10:30 hours, they were saying that Mr Banda should appear before the team of investigators on Monday morning,” the source said.
But when contacted for a comment, Mr Banda’s lawyer, Sakwiba Sikota, said he had not yet seen the summons.  He said the summoning of Mr Banda is politically-inspired.
Mr Sikota wondered how the information reached the media before he was served with correspondence from the investigations team.
“I haven’t got an official thing [correspondence].  What you told me is what I have. Maybe you can give me a copy of the call-out since it seems you are privy to this [matter]. I can come over and collect it from your office right now,” he said.
The allegations are that Mr Banda abused his authority, corruptly acquired public property and misapplied money and revenue in respect of a crude oil contract with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation amounting to US$2.5 million.
Other allegations are:
*Importation and customs clearances of MMD campaign material and disbursement of money to all MMD candidates involving K12,907,847,170.
*Mpundu Trust Property Development headed by former First Lady Thandiwe Banda and a Nyiombo Investments-procured loan of US$1 million.
*Use of Mauritius-registered offshore companies to finance opaque transactions, including acquisition of a bus worth US$200,000 with funds from Carisma Investments in Mauritius and branded bulbs worth US$60,000, also financed by Carisma.
*Importation of trucks from the United States worth 100,000 pounds (about K800,000,000); importation of shoes worth US$300,000 (K1,500,000,000) and purchase of bicycle spares and accessories from India at K371,908,000.
*Purchase of 42 Toyota Hilux vehicles from the United Arab Emirates at K1,869,840,000 and  purchase of 40 used Bedford trucks from United Kingdom at K686,501,629.
*Branded lollipops (K28,648, 486), T-shirts (411,917,893), caps (K21,884,175), badges (131,823,695), hats (14,500,380), balloons (K9,227,385), hand flags K12, 727,088) and flags K10, 695,047).
*Purchase of 77 various makes of used light trucks from Japan’s Trust Company at K1,246,166,872 and purchase of 2,407 bales of printed fabric from Malawi’s Goodson Ginford Bonongwe at K68,770,938 are also among the allegations.
*Purchase of T-shirts (K29,403,197, badges K25,347,556), hats K2,788,209), balloons (K1,774,263) and various types of vehicles (K1,066,879,353) from South Africa’s Tokyo Cars Choudhry and Amalgamated.
The total amount spent on branded goods and other items is said to be K10,107,847,170.

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