Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Cops lock up Dora for abuse of office

COMMENT - Don't think of it as prison, think of it as the MMD Weightwatchers Program.

Cops lock up Dora for abuse of office
By Mwala Kalaluka and Kombe Chimpinde
Tue 03 Apr. 2012, 13:00 CAT

DORA Siliya yesterday asked police officers why there were no seats in the female cell at Woodlands Police Station after she was arrested, charged and locked up over a radar installation deal. And Lusaka lawyer Sakwiba Sakwiba expressed shock at the turn of events as he was not expecting his client to be arrested yesterday.

The joint state investigative team spokesperson Charity Munganga-Chanda told journalists at Woodlands Police Station yesterday that Siliya had been arrested and charged with Abuse of Authority of Office contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

Siliya, a former transport and communication minister in the Rupiah Banda regime, looked uneasy as police officers asked her to remove her handbag, slippers, ring and wrist-watch in preparation for detention.

However, Siliya, also MMD member of parliament for Petauke Central, refused to give up her spectacles because she could not see without them and she further resisted removing her slippers in the glare of the waiting journalists outside the police station.

"In the first count, she is alleged to have directed the cancellation of a duly awarded tender for the supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of the Zambia Air Traffic Management Surveillance Radar System to Thales Air System SA," Munganga-Chanda said.

"In the second count, Honourable Siliya is alleged to have accepted a free offer from Selex Sistemi Integrati S.P.A for the repair of a radar head at the then Lusaka International Airport without following procedure."

Munganga-Chanda said as result of this free offer, the government lost K1,943, 932, 360.

She said Siliya would appear in court today.

And Sikota said he did not know that the investigative team had premeditated Siliya's arrest.

"They had already even prepared a statement and everything, everything was well-planned. So I will read their statement and that is when I will respond. I didn't know that they had premeditated everything."

Sikota also said the police had been instructed not to release Siliya on bond.

Meanwhile, police sources said as Siliya, who insisted to enter into the cell with her slippers on, was entering the cell at around 16:50 hours, she audibly complained as to why there were no seats in there.

"She was saying 'there are no seats here and you people know that I have got a leg problem'," the sources narrated.

The sources said Siliya expressed anxiety when she was finally placed in the cell and a female police officer was seen coming out of the cell with her grey and black slippers.

A small number of MMD cadres that at times looked disorganised and ultimately gloomy, were on hand to offer Siliya solidarity and they even followed her from the former Task Force on Corruption offices where she first appeared after 14:00 hours to Woodlands Police Station from where she was detained.

Among the notable figures that were present during Siliya's arraignment include Chisamba MMD member of parliament Moses Muteteka with his Sinda counterpart Levy Ngoma, who was seen carrying Siliya's brown handbag as she was being led to the cell.

Former president Banda used to refer to Siliya as ‘Smart Dora'.

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