ACTING PF president Given Lubinda says he does not own a house in Kingsland City as alleged by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
And Lubinda has revealed that as Minister of Justice in 2019, he was interrogated for the exact same offences he has been charged with, but that the commission did not find him in the wrong.
Meanwhile, PF member of the Central Committee Raphael Nakacinda says former KCM provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu was blackmailed to resign to pave way for bringing back Vedanta.
At a media briefing, Lubinda said he looked older than his age because he worked too hard for everything he had.
He said while he did put down a deposit on a house in Kingsland, he did not proceed to pay anything more after confusion ensued at the project.
“My working career spans more than 39 years. I got my first job as general manager at the age of 19, a young little boy with a beautiful beard. Before I turned 40, I already had property worth more than US$260,000. All my working life, I’ve been sleeping no earlier than mid-day. I’ve never had one job in my life, I’ve always had multiple jobs. If you see wrinkles on my face, it’s not because I’m 70, I’m actually still very young. I work hard,” he said.
“The statement made yesterday by ACC is nothing but malicious, extremely malicious and I will explain why. Number one, they have given me property which I don’t own. I do not own US$539,000, no sir. At least not that US$539,000 they are giving me, I don’t own it. They say I have a house in Kingsland. I don’t own any house in Kingsland. What I own is a deposit I paid to Kingsland, I paid a small deposit and said ‘please, I want to buy one of your houses, here is my deposit’. And after all this drama came about; Kingsland, Forest 27, I never paid anything extra. Naikana nyumba yanu (I have refused your house) I don’t want it.”
And Lubinda revealed that he was interrogated for the exact same offences in 2019.
“I read in some newspapers today that I was being interrogated for three hours. Members of the Press, get it from me, I was not interrogated, I was not even asked any question. In those three hours, I was just sitting there watching them writing a warn and caution statement. All the questions they asked me, I said I have no response. By the way, the warn and caution statement yesterday was not the first one, it was actually the second one over the same matter. Exactly the same facts as the first one which was read to me. For your information members of the press, that was the third statement that ACC were writing about this man,” he said.
“The very first time they wrote this statement was in 2019 and today I want to say this. A lot of people in the UPND were saying Edgar Lungu is shielding his ministers. I was not shielded. I was Minister of Justice in 2019. Three ACC officers came to my office when I was Minister of Justice, sat me down and said we have come to interrogate you sir. They asked me the same questions that they were asking me in January 2022. They asked me those questions in February 2019. What has changed between 2019 and 2022? Even in 2019 when they took my statement, they didn’t find anything wrong. What has changed for it to be wrong in 2022?”
Lubinda said government owed him some money.
“It will be interesting come 21st April because in court, I will ask a grade two child to come and quote and read the figures on my bank statement so that I can see the figures on my bank statement add to US$279,000. We will have to go and show in court that between March 2018 which they are talking about and December 2019, the only money that went into that account is US$150,000 only. And I will go and explain where that US$150,000 came from. Why didn’t they also talk about the money which the government owes me? This boma owes me money, they don’t want to pay me,” he said.
He insisted that he was happy because going to court would give him an opportunity to clear his name.
“Instead of digging up people’s farms, if he suspects that they have stolen, let him take them to court and say this man has stolen and here is my evidence like he has done with me. Colleagues, this is the only opportunity for us to prove ourselves. For as long as we encourage him to continue to just be talking and brandishing all of us thieves, people out there will get an impression that this is true. The only way we can prove ourselves innocent is by ensuring he takes us before the law so that he goes to prove whether indeed we are thieves and what we stole. As for me, I’m very happy he has given me this opportunity to go to court,” said Lubinda.
“And please let me appeal to the judiciary over this matter on the 21st of April, let’s start. Sinifuna vakuti magistrate adwala [I don’t want to be told that the case can’t continue because the magistrate is sick] like what is happening with Mumbi Phiri, no. Please line up three, four magistrates in reserve.”
Meanwhile, Nakacinda said Lungu was blackmailed to resign as a first step towards giving back KCM to Vedanta.
“…he has blackmailed the liquidator to resign so that then he can put his relative there and we know they have already created a special purpose vehicle to which he has an interest so that he can give Vedanta back KCM at the detriment of the people of Zambia. All those scandals are the ones he wants the Zambian people to lose focus on and begin to use you by whipping propaganda,” said Nakacinda.