Rupiah Banda’s lawyers concerned at the Director of Public Prosecutions delays

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Rupiah Banda
Rupiah Banda

LAWYERS representing former President Rupiah Banda are concerned at the delay by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to issue instructions for him to take plea in a matter in which he is charged with theft.
This is in a case in which Banda, 75, of house number 3 plot 2758 Leopards Hill Road, Lusaka, is charged with one count of concealing gratification contrary to Section 36 of the Anti-Corruption Act number 38 of 2010.
He is alleged to have received nine trucks amounting to K471,000 from a Chinese firm as gratification.
When the matter came up for mention before principal resident magistrate Obbister Musukwa yesterday, State prosecutor Dennis Simwiinga asked the court to grant the State 20 days in which to hear the matter because the DPP had not issued instructions.
Defence lawyer Erick Silwamba said the defence had no problem with the matter coming up for mention pending issuance of instructions from the DPP.
Mr Silwamba, however, expressed concern at the delay in  issuing instructions, saying the State had indicated that it had concluded investigating the matter and hence gathered enough evidence for prosecution to commence.
“Before our client was arrested, the State indicated that it had gathered enough evidence and what was remaining was prosecution. Therefore, we do not understand the difficulty in issuing a Fiat (authority). We find the period of 20 days too long going by the history of the matter,” Mr Silwamba said.
In response, Mr Simwiinga said the issuance of instructions, according to the law, is at the discretion of the DPP and that the law does not state the period during which such instructions are to be issued.
“The discretion is only with the DPP and section 64 Act number three of 2012 and therefore I will not answer for the DPP,” he said.
Particulars of the offence are that Banda, on unknown dates but between January 1, 2011 and August 30, 2012 in Lusaka received nine trucks. The vehicles are all valued at KR471,000, and were allegedly obtained as gratification from Segacoa Zambia Limited, a subsidiary of Anui Foreign Economic Construction Company, contracted to construct the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
The vehicles were registered in the names of James Banda, Verecy Banda and Kelvin Sampa.

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