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Lungu speaks before he thinks – Kambwili

(By Oliver Chisenga and Mwaka Ndawa)

 

I WANT Lungu to clarify what he meant when he said he doesn’t know how to steal because as far as I am concerned, Ni pompwe munshibila nsala, kabolala mukulu, Chishimba Kambwili said.

Addressing the media immediately after attending court at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court in Lusaka yesterday, Kambwili said President Lungu suffers from a rare condition of speaking without thinking.

President Lungu last week wondered how people could expect him to develop a country within five years when it took God six days to create the world.

He said he did not know how to steal and he asked his members of parliament to be more vigilant correcting the perceptions the opposition were building that he was running a government of criminals.

“I came across one story while in South Africa where I was recovering from a bout of Malaria where some Head of State in a Southern African country called Zambia was saying ‘I do not know how to steal’. I wondered if I was listening to President Edgar Lungu or I was listening to Sam Nujoma or other clean Presidents,” Kambwili said.

 

The National Democratic Congress leader further wondered how a man who drastically leaped from a worth of K1 million to K23 million in just a year of being in office would claim not to know how to steal.

 

He said President Lungu should be ashamed of himself for claiming that he was clean when people already knew that he was a thief.

 

Kambwili further noted that apart from his financial leap, President Lungu, as a practicing lawyer, stole money from his client and LAZ suspended his license.

 

“How can somebody say he doesn’t know how to steal when one year after taking office, he jumped from being K1 million worth to K23 million worth, somebody who lost his practicing license because of stealing from a poor woman? The problem with our President is that…insoni eebuntu and where I come from they say akanwa kamilandu kalaibala (it’s human to have shame, a guilty mouth always exposes itself)…tapali nabamwipwishe pafyabupupu (Nobody even asked him about stealing) but umwine ayamba ukulanda pabupupu but he started talking about stealing),” he said.

“Every Zambian knows that President Edgar Lungu stole from a poor woman and his practicing license was suspended by Law Association of Zambia. I would want him to clarify what he meant when he said he doesn’t know how to steal because as far as I am concerned, Lungu ni pompwe munshibila nsala; kabolala mukulu (a big thief).”

 

Kambwili advised President Lungu to work on his ‘disease’ of speaking before thinking.

 

“If civil servants can have 56 houses nga bena niyanga bakwete (what about him, how many house does he have?). If you can allow in your own government civil servants to be stealing to an extent of building 56 houses out of taxpayers’ money then you go to the public as President and say I don’t know how to steal. The problem with President Edgar Lungu, he suffers from a very rare human condition of speaking before he thinks and I think he should work on that. That made very sad reading that our President can say he doesn’t know how to steal when he is a thief,” Kambwili, who applauded the dropping of Margaret Mwanakatwe and the appointment of Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, said.

He advised the new finance minister that leadership was all about taking care of the affairs of he poor and not what was seen among he crop of ministers under President Lungu.

He advised him not be excited with the position.

Meanwhile, a chief representative of China Henan International Cooperation has testified that Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services limited was paid US$842,000 by the company because the works it executed on the Mongu-Luwingu road were satisfying.

 

This is in a matter where Kambwili, his son Mwamba, two Zambia Revenue Authority officials, and Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services Limited are facing charges of possessing more than six million kwacha, preparing a false document, obtaining pecuniary advantage and uttering a false document.

 

Zhou Xiao Zhan told principal resident magistrate Mwaka Mikalike that in May 2017, he was called by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) for interrogations over its Mansa – Luwingu road project and a subcontractor Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services limited.

 

He said he was not involved in the daily activities of the project so he requested time in order to check the records of the project.

 

“I was not directly managing the project because I was working on another water supply project. The project manager then was Zhao Yong Fei, who is now in China.

On the record, I found contracts for the Mansa – Luwingu road project and Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services and other documents on how Mwamona was engaged on the project and how they performed,” Zhou narrated.

 

The representative of China Henan said that a nomination letter was issued by RDA to China Henan International Cooperation group with a list of sub-contractors and among the shortlisted sub-contractors, Mwamona was classified first.

 

He said After receiving nominations, subcontractors were required to submit company registration certificate, tax certificate, VAT certificate and TAX clearance certificate and Mwamona submitted all the required documents and three National Council for Construction certificates.

 

The witness further testified that after assessing the documents, China Henan entered into a subcontractor agreement with Mwamona because according to the contractual documentation that it submitted to China Henan and the RDA, it was qualified for the job.

 

He stated that Mwamona submitted two letters appointing Zhao Yong Fei as their representative and that it submitted eight interim payments for the physical works done and were approve by China Henan.

 

During cross-examination by the accused lawyers Keith Mweemba and others, the witness said Mwamona was qualified to be a subcontractor.

 

When asked if Kambwili and his company obtained money by false pretences, Zhou said Mwamona and Kambwili did not obtain pecuniary advantage neither did they obtain money by false pretences as China Henan paid the company for the works it executed on the Mansa – Luwingu road.

 

The witness said that there was no contract between China Henan and Kambwili.

 

He said China Henan was satisfied with the works that Mwamona executed and it was paid for because there was no breach of the contract.

 

“If a sub-contractor does the works satisfactorily, they are entitled to payment and if the works are not up to standard, a sub-contractor is not entitled to payment,” Zhou said.

 

He added that Mwamona was not paid money for works it did not undertake, therefore, the money paid to it was not proceeds of crime.

 

He said there was nothing sinister about the money that was paid to the engineering company and that he had no complaint against the accused.

 

The witness also affirmed that the works were complete and President Edga Lungu commissioned the project.

 

And a Construction and Rehabilitation Director at the Road Development Agency (RDA) George Manyele told the court that RDA engaged China Henan International Corporation for the upgrading of the Mansa – Luwingu road and Mwamona was nominated as a sub-contractor by RDA to upgrade the road.

 

Manyele told magistrate Mikalike that RDA carries out works through contractors who are engaged using procedures approved by the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA)

 

At this point magistrate Mikalike adjourned the matter to enable the prosecutions produce original documents.

 

This was after Mweemba objected to the production of a photocopy of the list of sub-contractors engaged by RDA as evidence before court when an original copy was available.

 

Magistrate Mikalike wondered why the State always invited objections to the production of photocopied documents when she has guided on how documents should be produced on several occasions.

 

In his response, State prosecutor Martin Mayemba said the prosecutions did not expect objection as the document that was being referred to was a public document.

The matter comes up on August 1.

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