Saturday, March 15, 2008
By Maluba Jere
Saturday March 15, 2008 [03:00]
CHILUBA’S claim that he bought Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s son Kaweche a house using money from Zamtrop is unfounded, Task Force on Corruption chairperson Maxwell Nkole has said. In an interview, Nkole said his officers had interviewed Kaweche last week and considered him as an important witness to ascertain abuses on Zamtrop payments to Access Finance. Nkole said their investigations so far have established facts that did not support Chiluba’s claims.
“We have been looking at the matter in which former president Chiluba alleged that he bought Kaweche a house and the facts we have established so far don’t support these claims.
Following a preliminary interview we had with Mr Kaweche Kaunda last week, it is apparent that he is more of a witness for the state on the Zamtrop/Access Financial Services account abuses than a suspect,” Nkole said.
He said when the Task Force tried to trace the
money that Chiluba claimed was used to buy Kaweche a house, it all pointed down to Zamtrop account.
However, Nkole said this development did not mean that Kaweche had already been turned into a state witness but rather the state considered him an important witness to certain abuses on Zamtrop payments to Access Finance.
He said according to their investigations, Kaweche obtained a loan from Access Finance for a mining project and provided collateral for the loan.
Nkole said that state would use Kaweche to assist establish why a Zamtrop account was used to clear his loan with Access Finance.
“The loan has been liquidated using money from Zamtrop account without Kaweche’s knowledge,” Nkole said. “As far as Kaweche is concerned, the loan is supposed to be outstanding because he still has collateral. So we feel Kaweche should assist with what was going on.”
Chiluba late last year claimed that in his efforts to assist the Kaunda family, his government bought Kaweche a house in South Africa after it was brought to his attention that the son of a former president was in distress.
And speaking through his spokesperson Emmanuel Mwamba from South Africa yesterday, where he is undergoing medical review, Chiluba said he would comment on the matter after studying the Task Force statement in full.