Nigerian oil deal started in late Mwanawasa’s regime; Kachingwe tells court

Major Richard Kachingwe - Right
Major Richard Kachingwe - Right
Major Richard Kachingwe – Right

EXPELLED Movement for Multi-Party Democracy National Secretary Major Richard Kachingwe has told the Lusaka Magistrate Court that it is not former President Rupiah Banda who gave him a letter of accreditation to handle issues pertaining to crude oil with the Nigerian government on behalf of the Republic of Zambia.

Testifying before Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda today April 30th, in a continued trial of former President Rupiah Banda abuse of office case, Major Kachingwe, who is supposed to be the star witness, said it was former Energy Minister Kenneth Konga who appointed him.

Major Kachingwe also told the court that Kenneth Konga also gave a Power of Attorney to a Nigerian oil company called SARB to act as agents for Zambia. He said all this was done in Nigeria in the absence of former President Rupiah Banda.

He said when Rupiah Banda travelled to Nigeria to have a meeting with President Yaradua, he was not privy to the discussions. He also told the court that SARB who acted as agents came to Zambia and made a presentation at Government house.

He said when SARB was making the presentation, Rupiah Banda then Acting President invited late Vice President George Kunda then Minister of Justice, George Mpombo then Minister of Defence, Kenneth Konga and Dr. Austin Sichinga then Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Vice President.

Kachingwe said after the presentation, Rupiah Banda put the topic to debate and was later agreed to pursue the Nigerian oil project. Major Kachingwe said the initial Nigerian crude oil project started in the late President Mwanawasa regime.

However trial has been adjourned after the defence objected to part of Kachingwe’s testimony saying it was hearsay. The defence said part of Kachingwe story was quoting Nigerians citizens saying the defence was not sure whether the Nigerians are coming to testify.

DPP Mutembo Nchito said he would not state categorically whether the Nigerians will be available to testify as they were out of jurisdiction.

This prompted the defence team through Ireen Kunda to say that he DPP himself had confirmed that he was not sure. Magistrate Banda then adjourned the matter to 14 hours for a ruling as to whether Kachingwe should continue testifying in the same manner.


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