RENOWNED PF cadre Munir Zulu has told the Lusaka High Court that he was supposed to benefit US$10,000 from the Abalone deal after he connected a Chinese friend to the person who was selling fish in October, last year.
He, however, said he was not paid the said amount after the fish was confiscated and reported as stolen.
He was testifying in a matter where a Lusaka resident, three police officers and a Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) inspector are charged with aggravated robbery involving sea food worth over K1 million.
Abalone are marine snails and are a common name for any of a group of small to very large sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Haliotidae.
Gift Kasaro, 30, a politician of Meanwood Ibex; Nathan Kalaba, a police officer of Kabangwe; Joseph Mwansa, 42, a police officer Chilenje Police Camp; Simon Kalenga, 52, an inspector of Kabwata Site and Service and Collins Chileshe, 52, a police officer of Sikanze Camp are facing charges of aggravated robbery, impersonating a public officer and attempts at extortion.
The five are in court for allegedly intercepting a truck at gunpoint that was loaded with sea food and for allegedly stealing 19 boxes of sea food worth more than K1.1 million.
It is alleged that on October 12, last year in the Lusaka, the five whilst armed with 2 AK 47 Rifles, stole 19 boxes of dry sea food valued at K1,124,500, property of Allan Chibinda.
It is alleged that immediately before the time of such stealing, they used or threatened to use actual violence to Amon Mwale in order to retain or prevent or overcome such resistance from it being stolen.
In count two, it is alleged that on the same day, Kasaro, whilst acting together with others unknown, falsely represented himself to Amon Mwale as a person employed by Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS), a public office.
It is further alleged that on the same date, the five solicited for K30,000 cash from Allan Chibinda.
When the matter came up for continued trial before Lusaka High Court Judge Kazimbe Chenda, Wednesday, Zulu testified that on October 13, last year, he received a call from his friend Webby Mukumbuta, asking him to find a buyer for his Abalone to which he agreed to.
He said he asked Mukumbuta to give him a price for the Abalone and he suggested US $100 per Kg, but later reduced to US $60 per kg.
Zulu said he then asked his Chinese friend Junda Xu if he would be interested in purchasing the Abalone and Xu showed interest in the product.
“Junda Xu requested to see the actual fish and and not on pictures and I told Mukumbuta that we can meet at Arcades at Protea Hotel and we saw three samples of the fish,” he said.
Zulu testified that Mukumbuta told them that he had 72 boxes of the Abalone and he asked him to deliver it at Junda Xu’s restaurant in Kalundu.
Asked to describe the fish, he said it was brownish in colour and each was a size of a frog and that to a certain degree, Abalone fish looked like a frog.
Zulu further said the fish was later dropped at Xu’s house and Mukumbuta was paid K400,000 cash.
“We parted company with a promise that Mukumbuta would on Monday call for the balance,” he said.
Zulu, however, said that on Monday morning, he received a call from Xu’s caretaker, informing him that police officers had gone to Xu’s house, picked him up and confiscated the Abalone.
He said he rushed to the police station and was told that the Abalone that was confiscated had been stolen.
Zulu said he called Mukumbuta and told him that the fish he had supplied him with had been stolen and asked whether he was aware about the development, but he expressed ignorance.
He said when he asked Mukumbuta, who supplied him the Abalone, he disclosed to him that a guy by the name of ‘Emmanuel’ had supplied him with the fish.
Zulu added that he asked Mukumbuta to rush to the police station.
Asked in cross-examination by defence lawyer lawyer Jonas Zimba how much he was going to get from the transaction, Zulu said Xu had promised to give him US $10,000, but he did not.