Rupiah Banda instructed his son to benefit from a Government deal – officer testifies

Andrew Banda
Andrew Banda

AN INVESTIGATIONS officer has testified in a Lusaka magistrate’s court that he arrested former Republican President Rupiah Banda because he instructed his son to benefit from a Government deal.
The former president is alleged to have procured a US$2.5 million government-to-government oil contract with Nigeria which he in fact was allegedly meant to benefit himself and his family.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) senior investigations officer, Friday Tembo said Banda abused his authority by instructing his son Henry, a non-government employee to deal with the proceeds of sale given to Zambia.
Mr Tembo testifying in examination-in-chief by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito said the oil transaction between Zambia and Nigeria was supposed to benefit the people of Zambia.
‘‘The abuse was on the part of Banda who instructed his son, who was not even a Government worker to deal with the process of sale given to Zambia,’’ he said.
He was testifying in a matter in which Banda, 75, is charged with one count of abuse of office.
Mr Tembo told chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda that investigations further revealed that the oil never reached Zambia.
He said he arrested the former Head of State arising from a search at the home of former Energy minister Kenneth Konga where he retrieved documents among them, an application letter to Nigeria asking for 45,000 barrels of crude oil.
Mr Tembo said among others he interviewed were Sun Energy Limited managing director Akpen Ekepen who showed him other documents relating to the transaction of how he was instructed to deposit money in a foreign bank account in Singapore.
The witness said when he looked at the documents and testimonies from witnesses, he believed that there was an offence of abuse of authority of office by Banda.
He said all the documents obtained had no originals because efforts to get them proved futile and investigations revealed that they were sent to Nigeria.
Another witness, acting director of energy Charles Mulenga testified that he was not aware about the oil transaction.
Banda’s lawyers applied to be given ample time to come up with a structured position on how they would proceed with cross examination on April 15,this year.