A senior ZESCO official has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services Limited “precisely” met the criteria to be awarded a tender for the construction of houses and toilets under the Lunzua Hydro Power project.
The State witness also said that money which ZESCO paid to Mwamona for the services rendered to it, was clean and not proceeds of crime.
In this matter, Chishimba Kambwili, his son Mwamba Kambwili, Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services, 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.
It is alleged in one of the counts that Mwamoma Engineering and Kambwili on dates unknown but between August 1, 2014 and September 30, 2016, in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together by means of false pretence, dishonestly obtained US$105,220.07 from China Henan International Corporation Group Limited, purpoting that Mwamoma, a company which was subcontracted, was executing the works on Luwingu-Mansa road when in fact not.
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.
When the matter came up for continued trial before magistrate Mwaka Mikalile, Monday, ZESCO senior procurement and stores manager Brian Kambole told the court that on December 2, 2016, ACC officers served a warrant of access to information on the managing director for Zesco.
He added that in that warrant of access to information, ACC were requesting for documents relating to the contract signed between ZESCO and Mwamona.
Kambole said the ACC officers requested for several documents relating to the contract, among them, the bidding documents and the evaluation report.
He said other documents included; contracts, ZESCO procurement committee resolutions and signed minutes of contract negotiations.
“Being the person in charge of procurement and stores, this information got to me and I was asked to compile the requested documents and give ACC,” Kambole said.
He said he compiled the documents which were requested for and presented them to the ACC through the Zesco managing director’s office.
During cross examination by the defence, the witness admitted to the court that Mwamona “precisely” met all the criteria to be awarded the tender for the construction of houses and toilets under the Lunzua Hydro Power project.
This was after defence lawyer Keith Mweemba asked him if Zesco was satisfied that Mwamona met the criteria to be awarded a contract.
The witness also admitted that the ZRA tax clearance certificate was valid up to that time.
Further asked if the money paid to Mwamona by Zesco was clean money due to the company and not proceeds of crime, Kambole responded in the affirmative.
“We paid them according to the signed contract. The money came from ZESCO according to the signed contract,” Kambole said.
Further asked if during the transaction, ZESCO ever dealt with Kambwili, the witness said no.
Asked, “because the bid was correct Mwamona was genuinely awarded this contract?” the witness said “correct”.
Meanwhile, Atlas Mara Luanshya branch manager Nalishebo Chibatabata also testified that on February 16 last year, ACC officials requested for information regarding Mwamona Engineering Technical Services’ bank account.
She said she then proceeded to retrieve the account mandate, adding that Mwamona had a current dollar acount and three kwacha accounts.
Chibatabata said Kambwili and his wife Carol were authoritised signatories to the bank account.
She said between 2014 and 2015, different sums of money were deposited into an account belonging to Mwamona by China Henan.
In cross examination, the witness admitted that as far as she was concerned, those transactions were clean, adding that there was nothing wrong with the transactions.
Chibatabata also confirmed to the court that a suspicious transaction report had never been presented to her, neither had a report been made to the Financial Intelligence Centre over the said transactions.
She said Mwamona was entitled to receive deposits in its account, as well as make withdraws and use the money in any way it deemed fit as long as it did not indulge in illicit activities.
Trial continues on July 18.