FORMER Republican President Rupiah Banda’s case in which he is charged with corrupt practices by public officer and concealing gratification of motor vehicles from two Chinese companies, yesterday failed to take off because he is out of the country for medical attention.
When the matter was called up before Magistrate Lameck Ng’ambi, Banda was not before court.
State prosecutor Kapetwa Phiri asked the court to order Banda’s defence lawyers to explain to the court why their client was not before court.
One of Banda’s defence lawyers Stephen Lungu informed the court that their client could not be in court because he was in South Africa where he was receiving medication.
Mr Lungu later asked the court to adjourn the matter to another date.Mr Ng’ambi on behalf of Principal Magistrate Obister Musukwa, who is handling the matter, adjourned the case to Tuesday, March 18.
Banda is in the first count alleged to have between January 1, 2011 and August 30, 2011, as the President of Zambia, corruptly receive ten motor vehicles as gratification from Sogecoa Zambia Limited and Sogecao Construction and Engineering Investment Limited.
The vehicles were an inducement or reward for himself in return for his favourable treatment of the two companies’ dealings with Government.
In the second count it is alleged that Mr Banda, during the same period, received nine motor vehicles as gratification from Sogecoa Zambia Limited and Sogecao Construction and Engineering Investment.
Banda allegedly concealed the receipt of the motor vehicles by having them registered in names of people closely connected to him.
It is alleged in the third count that Sogecoa Zambia Limited and Sogecao Construction and Engineering Investment Limited, between January 1, 2011 and August 30, 2011, jointly and while acting together with others unknown did corruptly give 10 motor vehicles to Mr Banda.
The vehicles were gratification or reward for Banda for his favourable treatment of the companies in their dealings with Government when he was president.
Meanwhile, Banda was yesterday represented by defence lawyer Makebi Zulu for mention in a matter where he is charged with abuse of authority involving an oil deal with a Nigerian company.
Mr Zulu appeared on behalf of Banda, as Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda excused Banda last time the matter came up.
The magistrate adjoined the case to April 7, for continued trial.