BANK of Zambia assistant communications director Besnart Mwanza has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that no bank was purchased by a councillor as was alleged by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) at its press briefing last year.
She has told the court that as far as the Bank of Zambia record indicated, there was no councillor who had applied to purchase or one who had bought a bank at K300 million.
This is a matter in which Mwewa Chitambala, popularly known as Simon Mwewa, is facing libel and cyber bullying charges against Tasila Lungu.
In the first count, Chitambala is alleged to have on September 15, 2021, in Lusaka, published on his Facebook page a story entitled “The Former President’s Daughter” where he stated that “Tasila Lungu is being investigated for suspicious purchase of a named bank together with all the assets worth 300 million. Everyone from Eagle One to the average councilor was stealing in a big way during the Patriotic Front’s iron rule. The sheer number of multiple cases involving government officials in the PF administration might derail Double H7s goal of placing our country on a better footing. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The PF was a criminal organization and they are in no moral position to provide checks and balances, I propose that the party be deregistered…”
The said words are said to be untrue, defamatory and intended to bring the name of Tasila Lungu into hatred, ridicule, contempt and suggesting that she was engaged in illegal activities when the same was not true.
In the second count, it is alleged that the words published were an attack on Lungu and were published for purposes of launching an attack on her using the cyber space without any lawful authority or reasonable cause to do so.
Chitambala earlier on pleaded not guilty to the charges before Magistrate Thandose Chabala.
In her evidence-in-chief led by lawyer Makebi Zulu, Mwanza however told the court that BOZ was not in receipt of an application for the acquisition of a bank from any councilor.
She told the court that as far as the BOZ record indicated, there was no councillor who had applied to purchase or one who had bought a bank.
Mwanza testified that in November 2021, she received a press query from a Diamond television reporter indicating that ACC had made a revelation that there was a councillor who had bought a bank valued at K300 million.
She said the reporter wanted to find out whether BOZ was aware and which bank was bought.
Mwanza said she contacted the department in charge of dealing with issues of licences to confirm whether there was such a thing and drafted the response to the query.
“The response was that the Bank of Zambia was not in receipt of an application from any councillor for the application for the purchase of the bank. In the response, we indicated to the reporter the process and procedure required in the purchase of the bank and the amount of capital one required to have. We indicated in our response that we are not aware about the purchase of the bank and referred the reporter for further details to the ACC,” she said.
Mwanza also produced the response to the press query as part of her evidence.
Trial continues on May 5, 2022.