Zesco, FNB officials testify in Kambwili’s theft case

A Money Laundering Compliance officer at First National Bank (FNB) on Thursday informed the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that he had no evidence to show that the NDC leader, Chishimba Kambwili did not comply with the bank’s policy during his transactions.

Mukuka Chibula, disclosed during cross examination led by Kambwili’s lawyers Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri, that there was nothing wrong for Kambwili as a businessman to deposit in his account over K29,000, money above his estimated threshold, if it came from a legitimate source.

Meanwhile, an Accountant at ZESCO limited has testified that an advanced payment of over K1.6 million was paid to Mwamona Engineering Technical services for the construction of houses and toilets at Lunzua hydro power station.

In this matter, Kambwili, his son Mwamba Kambwili, Mwamona ENG and Tech Services Ltd, Lukwesa Musonda Brano and Mulenga Makasa Kapilima are charged with; one count of making a document without authority, one count of uttering a false document, two counts of obtaining pecuniary advantage by false pretenses and 35 counts of being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

One of the offences on the indictment is that on August 18, 2016, Kambwili had K495,000 in his account suspected to be proceeds of crime.

He is in another count accused of having been in possession of 180 thousand Kwacha, property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

In another count, Kambwili is alleged to have been in possession of money amounting to K220,000 in his personal bank account.

And on May 15, 2015 Kambwili is alleged to have been in possession money amounting to K640,000.

All the money mentioned in the 35 counts of being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime is said to have been in an account that is domiciled at the Zambia National Commercial Bank and FNB.

Kambwili and Mwamona are also alleged to have presented a false ZRA tax clearance certificate to ZESCO purporting that it was genuinely issued, resulting in the award of a contract of K8 million for the construction of Houses and toilets under the Lunzua Hydro Power project, thereby obtaining pecuniary advantage of a contract sum of K1,652,482.81.

And when the matter came up for continued trial before magistrate Mwaka Mikalile, Thursday, Regina Chabala an accountant at ZESCO told the court that on March 24, 2017, ACC officers approached her to inquire over a payment made to Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services.

She said after the inquiry, she reverted to the records where she found a payment transfer that was made to Mwamona.

Chabala said ZESCO and Mwamona signed a contract valued at K8 million for construction of toilets and houses under the Lunzua Hydro power project.

“K1, 652, 482, which is the 20 per cent of the total contract sum was paid to Mwamona,” she said.

Asked during cross examination by the defense lawyers on whether the contract was duly awarded to Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services for the construction of the toilets and houses, Chabala replied in the affirmative.

Futher asked if ZESCO had ever complained about the payment made to Mwamona, Chabala said she did not know.

Meanwhile, when FNB Premium Acacia branch Administrator, Mukuka Chibula was asked during cross examination on whether there had been any complaint of criminal nature involving Kambwili, the witness said no.

He however said the account held in Kambwili’s name had a threshold of K29,000 income, adding that anything above that raised a red flag.

However, when Mweemba asked if there was anything wrong with depositing an amount above or way below the threshold, Chibula explained that there was nothing wrong as long as it was from a legitimate source.

The witness further said that he had no evidence to show that Kambwili did not comply with the bank’s policy during his transactions.

He further informed the court that he did not summon Kambwili to express concern about the various deposits which were above the threshold of his account.

Chibula said he did not even report to the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) or any other authority.

The matter has been adjourned to April 26 for a mention and June 3, 2019 for trial.

         

Zondiwe Mbewe

About Zondiwe Mbewe

Zondiwe is a vibrant young Zambian journalist who has interest in writing political and current affairs on issues which affect every Zambians. She draws inspiration from journalists who stand for what is right and are not afraid to tell and show the truth to the people.
Email: zondiwe [at] diggers [dot] news

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