Monday, December 30, 2013

Rupiah pleads not guilty to corruption
By Agness Changala
Wed 06 Nov. 2013, 14:01 CAT

RUPIAH Banda yesterday pleaded not guilty to corrupt practices by public officer and concealing gratification of motor vehicles from two Chinese companies.

In this case, former president Banda is charged with two counts of corrupt practices by a public officer and concealing gratification contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

Taking plea before Lusaka principal resident magistrate Obbister Musukwa, Banda said he understood the charges he was facing but denied committing the offences.

Magistrate Musukwa recorded pleas of not guilty in both counts and adjourned the case to November 26 for commencement of trial.

Allegations are that Banda on dates unknown but between January 1, 2011 in Lusaka, being a person holding and performing functions of the President of the Republic of Zambia, corruptly received 10 motor vehicles, namely Mitsubishi Canter, chassis number FE538E-520252,
Mitsubishi Canter, chassis number FE649E-520121, Mitsubishi Canter, chassis number FE648E-501363, Mitsubishi Canter, chassis number FE649E-501111, Mitsubishi Canter chassis number FE63EG-550624, Hino Ranger, chassis number FD2JLB-16068, Toyota Toyoace, chassis number BU212-0104855 and Fuso fighter, chassis number FK618K-510102.

Other vehicles are a Mitsubishi Canter, chassis number FE638E-521633, and Toyota Toyoace, chassis number BU102-0107304, all valued at US$180,000, as gratification from SOGECAO Zambia Limited and SOGECAO Construction and Engineering Investments Limited, which companies were subsidiaries of Anui Foreign Economic Construction Company of China, a company that had dealings with the government to do various public works.

It is alleged that the gratification was an inducement or reward for himself in return for his favourable treatment of these companies in their dealings with the government.

Count two alleges that Banda on dates unknown but between January 1, 2011 and August 30, 2011 in Lusaka, received nine motor vehicles, all valued at US$180,000, which property was obtained as gratification from SOGECAO Zambia Limited and SOGECAO Construction and Engineering Investments Limited, which companies were subsidiaries of Anui Foreign Economic Construction Company of China a company that had dealings with Zambia to do with various public works.

It is alleged that the gratification was an inducement or reward for himself in return for his favourable treatment of these companies in their dealings with the government, of which he was head, and concealed the receipt of the said motor vehicles by having them registered in the names of James Banda MS, Verecy Lute Banda and Kelvin Sampa.

The matter comes up on November 26 for trial.

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