Rupiah Banda
Rupiah Banda

THE matter in which former Republican President Rupiah Banda is charged with corrupt practices again failed to take off yesterday.
It could not take off because two of Banda’s co-accused are supposed to individually or separately represent themselves and not for both of them to be represented by the general manager of the companies.
Banda, 76, is in this matter charged with Sogecoa Zambia Limited and Sogecao Construction and Engineering Investment Limited.
The prosecution, headed by Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito, and Banda’s lawyers agreed that there was need for the two companies to be separately represented.
When the matter was called up for commencement of trial before Principal Magistrate Obister Musukwa, Mr Nchito informed the court that the State was ready to proceed.
Mr Nchito, however, told the court that a legal issue had arisen that needed the attention of the second and third accused.
He said as such, the matter should be adjourned to today to enable them sort out the matter.
One of Banda’s lawyers, Eric Silwamba told the court that Banda was equally ready for trial, but he was in agreement with Mr Nchito because the issue concerning the other accused was legitimate and needed attention.
Mr Musukwa adjourned the matter to today.
Banda is facing two counts of corrupt practices by public officer and concealing gratification of motor vehicles.
In the first count, it is alleged that Banda, between January 1, 2011 and August 30, 2011, as the President of Zambia, did corruptly receive 10 motor vehicles as gratification from Sogecoa Zambia Limited and Sogecao Construction and Engineering Investment Limited.
In the second count, it alleged that Banda, between the same period, received nine motor vehicles from the two companies.
The vehicles were as an inducement or reward for Banda in return for his favourable treatment of the two companies’ dealings with the Government.
It is alleged in the third count that the companies jointly and while acting together with others unknown, did corruptly give 10 motor vehicles to Banda as gratification or reward for himself in return for the favourable treatment of the companies.