A STATE witness has testified that President Edgar Lungu’s former Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda and former RTSA chief executive officer Zindaba Soko’s co-accused, Walid EL Nahas, ceased to be Intelligent Mobility Solutions Limited’s (IMS) director on February 14, this year.
Patrick Chilekwa, an assistant Inspector of Companies under the compliance and awareness unit at PACRA, further told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that Walid and Lamise Trading Limited were shareholders in IMS before he (Walid) transferred all his shares to a company called, Kapsch Communications.
In this matter, Nahas is charged with two counts of corrupt practices with a public officer, whereas Soko and Chanda are charged with four counts of corrupt practices by a public officer and possession of property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.
The trio had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
It is alleged in count one that Nahas between August 1, 2017, and May 31, 2019, corruptly gave US $10,000 to Soko, a public officer, namely director and chief executive officer of the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), as an inducement or reward in order to facilitate the award of a contract to Intelligent Mobility Solutions Limited by RTSA for the provision of advanced road safety solutions and services, a matter or transaction that concerns RTSA, a public body.
In count two, it is alleged that Nahas on the same dates corruptly gave US $11,000 to Chanda, a public officer, namely Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations as an inducement or reward in order to facilitate the award of a contract to Intelligent Mobility Solutions Limited by RTSA for the provision of advanced road safety solutions and services.
In count three, it is alleged that between August 1, 2017, and May 31, Soko corruptly received US $10,000 from Nahas as inducement to facilitate the award of the Intelligent Mobility Solutions Limited contract by RTSA.
It is alleged in the fourth count that Soko on the same dates possessed US $10,000, property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
In count five, Chanda is accused of corruptly receiving US $11,000 from Nahas as an inducement to facilitate the award of the contract to Intelligent Mobility Solutions Limited by RTSA for the provision of advanced road safety solutions and services.
It is further alleged in count six that Chanda on August 1, 2017, and May 31, 2019, possessed US $11,000, suspected to be proceeds of crime.
When the matter came up for trial before Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale, Wednesday, Chilekwa, 42, testified that some time in May, last year, the Agency was approached by some officers from the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) who went to inquire on the registration details of two companies.
He said the two companies were Lamise Trading Limited and IMS, adding that his supervisor assigned the DEC officers to him so that he could record a statement to them.
“Before that can be done, I requested for physical files of the two entities from our registry. At the time, the registry could not find the physical files, but instead sent via e-mail scanned copies of all registration documents, which I printed out and began the recording of the statement to the officers,” Chilekwa said.
The witness testified that he mentioned to the officers that Lamise was incorporated in February, 2017, and at that time, the directors were a Mr Walid El Nahas and a Mr Ziad El Nahas.
Chilekwa said the shareholders were the same individuals who held 13,500 and 1,500 ordinary shares.
“That’s regarding Lamise. To-date, that’s the information,” he said.
Chilekwa further testified that IMS was incorporated in June, 2017, and that the directors were Walid and Ziad.
He added that the shareholders of the company were: Lamise Trading Limited, which held 13,500 shares, and Walid who held 1,500 ordinary shares.
Chilekwa said when he looked at the documents that were sent to him for the said company, he noted that some changes were made to the record.
“These changes are as follows: on August 30, 2017, there were some changes by way of appointing some directors [and] company secretaries by way of removing the one who was there and putting someone else. On that date, Mr Walid resigned as company secretary then a company called MMK Corporate Solutions Limited became the Secretary,” he revealed.
Chilekwa said on August 30, 2017, there was a change in shareholding where Lamise transferred 1,000 of its shares to Walid, leaving it with 12,500 ordinary shares and 2,500 ordinary shares for Walid.
He told the Court that a company called Kapsch Communications was on the same date allotted 10,000 ordinary shares.
“Now, we have three shareholders namely: Lamise holding 12,500, Kapsch holding 10,000 shares and Mr Walid holding 2,500. On October 23, 2017, Mr Walid transferred all his 2,500 ordinary shares to Kapsch. Leaving the shareholding at that time to 12,500 for Lamise and Kapsch 12,500 ordinary shares as at that date,” the witness said.
“On February 14, this year, Mr Walid ceased as director from Intelligent Mobility Solutions Limited. He has been director from time of incorporation and only ceased on that date.”
In cross-examination by Walid’s lawyer Kennedy Mambwe, Chilekwa said he did not find anything unlawful in the manner Lamise was incorporated, nor was there anything wrong in the manner IMS was incorporated.
Asked by another defence lawyer if there was any role that Soko played or whether his name was mentioned in the participation of the said companies, the witness said no.
Trial continues on April 15, this year.