By Inonge Noyoo
Sunday August 12, 2007 [08:05]
FORMER Army Commander Lt Gen Geojago Musengule on Friday told the Lusaka magistrate court that it was a slip of the tongue when he earlier said his milking operation started in 2001 and not 2002. This is a matter in which Lt Gen Musengule and Base Chemicals chief executive Amon Sibande are separately charged with abuse of authority of office and corruption. During cross-examination by public prosecutor Mutembo Nchito, Lt Gen Musengule said he paid for his milking equipment in 2002.
Lt Gen Musengule said former Zambia Air Force commander Gen Sande Kayumba told him about the milking equipment. He said the army was not into milking equipment but that the discussion of milking equipment between him and Gen Kayumba came up because they were colleagues.
Lt Gen Musengule said Gen Kayumba informed him that he had bought milking equipment through Sibande.
Lt Gen Musengule said Gen Kayumba warned him that if he had intention to buy equipment from Sibande he needed to be careful. Lt Gen Musengule said he had no milking equipment dealings with Sibande. He identified the invoice dated May 25th 2001 addressed to the army commander which showed full payments in dollars of the milking equipment.
Asked if the equipment had anything to do with his discussion with Sibande and whether it meant anything to him, Lt Gen Musengule said he did not know anything about the document and it did not mean a thing. Lt Gen Musengule said he bought the steel structures from Sibande but never received receipts. He revealed that the equipment was worth K7.5 million and that he had only paid K7.3 million.
Lt Gen Musengule said Kirk Wentworth was an official of Mazonite Company, which was contracted to work on the Kaoma project. Lt Gen Musengule said he authorised payments to Base Chemicals in 2001.
Asked why he was paying money before the contract was executed, Lt Gen Musengule said he wanted the building done before the 2001 elections. He said he authorised payments of US$500,000 to Base Chemicals before the contract was signed. Lt Gen Musengule said there was no quotation to show the change of plan from the pre-fabricated buildings to concrete buildings on the Kaoma project.
He said he engaged Base Chemicals and Mazonite to work on the Kaoma project and that he made decisions to procure fuel from Base Chemicals. Lt Gen Musengule said it was his instructions to pay ZAF US$100 for purchase of fuel for Zambia Army. He said Sibande never came to his office.
Musengule said the tender committee in the army never sat down to examine the fuel tender. The matter comes up for continued cross-examination on August 20.