Thursday, May 03, 2012

Andrew Banda fails to appear before cops

Andrew Banda fails to appear before cops
By Bright Mukwasa
Thu 03 May 2012, 09:00 CAT

FORMER president Rupiah Banda's son, Andrew, yesterday failed to appear before investigative wings as his lawyers were still compiling "some documents vital to the investigation".

Investigative wings on Tuesday interrogated Andrew, also deputy high commissioner to India, for allegedly soliciting a cut from an Italian construction company Fratelli Locci and over K195,800,000, money suspected to be proceeds of crime, allegations he denies.

"From yesterday's Tuesday interview, we agreed that the lawyers were going to avail Mr Andrew Bwezani Banda to the team this afternoon…but unfortunately they could not make it because there were some documents which we needed which are supposed to help us with investigations. But they are still compiling them and when they are ready they will get back to us," joint investigative team spokesperson Charity Chanda told journalists yesterday.

"They lawyers will communicate because those documents are vital to our investigations."

But Andrew in an interview on Tuesday denied the allegations, saying the agreement was a normal business transaction with the company he had known even before he was in government circles.

"I can never deny the Locci neither do I expect them to deny me because we had an agreement which was made a long time ago…the percentage two per cent that they are talking about is a business agreement as per normal, nothing like soliciting for anything, nothing because I have not received anything from them to do with commission," Andrew said.

"If I had that kind of money, I would not even be where I am. It is genuine that I had an agreement with these people so I could recover for the services that I provided to them to register their company in the country, the logistics…there's an agreement I do not dispute that."

Andre also said investigative wings asked him about the close to K100 million in his account but wondered what was wrong with him having such an amount.

He said he was a diplomat and a businessman running a transport company that ferries poles for Zesco and it was not impossible for him to have that amount.

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