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ECZ cancels the Kabwata by-election, further suspends all manner of campaigns.



THE ELECTORAL Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has cancelled the Kabwata Parliamentary by-election pursuant to Article 52(6) of the Republican Constitution.

And the commission says it will be conducting fresh nominations for Kabwata Constituency on dates to be advised once a Statutory Instrument has been finalised.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka, Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chief Electroral Officer Patrick Nshindano said this therefore means that all campaign related activities for Kabwata Constituency have been cancelled and will only commence on the date of fresh nominations.

Mr Nshindano explained that this follows the invoking of the provision of Article 52 of the Republican Constitution by Mr Francis Libanda of the United Progressive Party (UPP) this morning.

“The Electoral Commission of Zambia wishes to confirm receipt of a letter dated 7th January 2022, from the United Progressive Party (UPP) Kabwata Parliamentary by-election candidate, Mr Libanda Francis indicating his withdrawal from the forthcoming by-election,” he said.

“The Commission today received another letter from Mr Libanda dated 10th January 2022, clarifying his decision whilst invoking the provision of Article 52 of the Republican Constitution,”.

Mr Nshindano noted that the Electoral Process Act under Section 31(2) provides that

a nomination submitted under subsection (1) may be withdrawn at any time, before the expiry of the period appointed for lodging nomination papers in respect of the constituency concerned, if the candidate delivers to the returning officer a written notice to that effect.

He said on the other hand, Article 52(6) of the Republican Constitution provides that, where a candidate dies, resigns or becomes disqualified in accordance with Article 70, 100 or 153 or a court disqualifies a candidate for corruption or malpractice, after the close of nominations and before the election date, the Electoral Commission shall cancel the election and require the filing of fresh nominations by eligible candidates and elections shall be held within thirty days of the filing of the fresh nominations.

“Based on the initial correspondence of 7th January 2022, the by-election would have proceeded as planned as provided for by the Electoral Process Act No. 35 of 2016, Section 31 (2) which empowers the Commission to reject a withdrawal and proceed with the election

I wish to advise that a “withdrawal” is clearly only permitted before close of nominations as provided under Section 31(2) of the Electoral Process Act.

He however said where a candidate has sought to invoke the provisions of Article 52(6) of the Republican Constitution, the law requires the cancellation of elections and this calls for fresh nominations for eligible candidates.

“In this case, Mr Libanda, in his letter dated 10th January 2022 has invoked the provisions of Article 52(6) of the Constitution of Zambia afore said given that this is a Constitutional provision, the Commission is bound to comply without any discretion to do otherwise,”. he stated.

“As the law requires fresh nominations, it entails that all aspiring candidates in the Kabwata Parliamentary by-election including those that had originally filed in nominations will be required to pay the prescribed nomination fee,”.

Mr Nshindano noted that the Commission also recognises that the process may inconvenience stakeholders especially political parties that had successfully fielded candidates as they will be required to file fresh nominations.

“Members of the public may also wish to note that ballot papers for the Kabwata Parliamentary by-election are scheduled to arrive tomorrow, Tuesday 11th January 2022 via Kenneth Kaunda International Airport from Dubai,” Mr Nshindano said.

He added that the resignation of Mr Libanda comes with unwarranted costs as the already printed ballot papers are a cost that needs to be paid for in addition to other electoral activity costs.

“Political parties are further called upon to thoroughly scrutinise candidates they intend to field in any election to avoid a waste of resources and other inconveniences caused to the Commission, Political Parties and other stakeholders. With the foregoing, stakeholders may note that there is an urgent need to review the electoral laws to enhance the integrity of the electoral process and safeguard scarce public resources that could have otherwise been used for other developmental programmes,” he said.

“The Commission working with other stakeholders will soon embark on a thorough review of the electoral laws in order to enhance the electoral process,”.

Mr Nshindano further explained that, polls for Liangati and Sokontwe Wards will proceed as scheduled on 20th January 2022










ACC arrests Former Army Secretary at the Ministry of Defence Evaristo Sakala for corrupt practices involving US$ 400 million



THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has arrested Former Army Secretary at the Ministry of Defence Evaristo Sakala for corrupt practices involving US$ 400 million in connection with the procurement of the Presidential jet Gulfstream G65.

In count one Mr Sakala is charged with Wilful Failure to comply with applicable law and procedure contrary to section 34 (2) (b) of the Anti-Corruption Act number 3 Of 2012.

This is in a statement released by ACC Head-Corporate Communications Timothy Moono.

“Between  January 1, 2017 and  July 31,2017 Mr Sakala being the Army Secretary and a member of the Ministerial Procurement Committee for the Ministry of Defence and whilst acting together with others, did wilfully fail to comply with the applicable law and procedure in the manner he approved the award of the tender number MOD/MPC/02417 relating to the procurement of the modernisation of the Defence forces programme  at a contract price of US$ 400 million to Elbit Systems Limited.Mr Sakala has since been released on bond and he is expected to appear in court soon,”said the commission.

The commission said that  so far six people have been arrested in this matter and these include  Former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence Stardy Mwale, Former Defence Secretary Retired Brigadier General Michael Obister.

Others are Former Ministry of  Defence Director General Medical Services Retired Brigadier General Frank Sinyangwe,Director-Finance at Ministry of Green Economy and Environment EsabelWillima Chinji.

And Former Ministry of Defence Director Human Resources and Administration John Phiri.

(Mwebantu, Monday, 20th March, 2023)

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It’s unfair to accuse me of engaging in illegal business, GBM tells Economic and Financial Crimes Court



FORMER Minister of Defence Geoffrey Mwamba has denied failing to declare interest and engaging in illicit activities when he served as minister, adding that his companies have been genuinely doing business contrary to claims.

Mr Mwamba has testified that his business dealings are genuine, hence it is unfair to accuse him of engaging in unlawful transactions.

“Our companies have always been genuine in their operations and those that may want to think that we are not sincere in our dealings would be unfair to us,” Mr Mwamba, who is GBM Group of companies chief executive officer, said when opening defence this week.

He further told the Economic and Financial Crimes Court that Arizona Marketing and Food Suppliers Limited, one of his companies, has not less than 10,000 tonnes of maize worth US$4.7 million.

“We are currently sitting on not less than 10,000 tones of maize valued at US$4.7million and maize stored at our warehouse at GBM milling plait. We are not only sitting on maize, we are sitting on more than 100,000 tones of various types of beans,” he said.

Mr Mwamba said in 1995, the same company bought 10 milling plants from Government worth US$1.2 million.

He further narrated that allegations that he failed to declare interest when he was a minister are not true because he had done so.

“I consulted the Attorney Generals chambers via a phone call and they advised me that if i have anyone known to me who wants to supply the ministry(of defence) , i should declare interest in writing addressed to the permanent secretary. A few days later, i did exactly that,” Mr Mwamba, who was defence minister from 2011 to 2013, said.

He said this when he opened his defence in a case he is facing 24 counts of possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime, eight counts of conflict of interest and money laundering.

In one of the counts, it is alleged that between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016, Mwamba, trading as Arizona Marketing and Distributor, possessed US$399,985 through a bank account.

It is further alleged that between January 1 and 31, 2019, the accused possessed US$499,985 through Germins Motorways Limited’s bank account.

Further, allegations are that between March 1 and 31, 2020, the accused had K10 million through his bank account held at Investrust Bank.

It is also alleged that he had another US$670,000 through his bank account, property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime, among others.

In his testimony, he narrated how he started engaging in business at age 17 until he later became an acclaimed business executive after investigating im various business ventures.

“I’m Chief Executive Officer of GBM group of companies. In the first place your honour, I’m an accomplished businessman who started business in 1996 when my father left me with a family business called Kasama Modern Bakery to run. Kasama Modern battery was the only battery in Kasama which I was running at an age of about 17. Thereafter, we engaged in trading and in 1997, I decided to leave Kasama and come to Lusaka where I opened or registered a company your called GBM food suppliers limited,” he said

He further narrated that he later bought 40 brand new flit of buses moving across the country.

(Mwebantu, Monday, 20th March, 2023)

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18 Ministry of Finance officials nabbed, as ACC restricts their accounts



THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has arrested 18 individuals in a financial scandal at the Ministry of Finance in which investigations are currently underway.

The investigations border on payments made for fictitious activities and theft of public funds.

ACC head of corporate communication Timothy Moono has told Mwebantu that among those arrested include the Auditor-General  Dr. Dick Sichembe, Former Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba,  Accountant General Kennedy Musonda, two Deputy Auditor-Generals namely Clara Mazumba and Francis Mbewe.

Others arrested are Director for Budget and Economic Affairs Chomba Kabwe, Director for Policy and Research Fides Mulenga, Principal Accountant Elijah Manunga, Director for Internal Audit Norah Mwila Sichilongo, Director for Local Government and Projects Mumba Bwalya, Senior Accountant Edward Zimbizi,  Principal for Budget Analysis Medson Moyo,  Accountant Angela Bwalya,  Controller of Internal Audit Chibwe Nobert Mulonda, and Chief Accountant for Policy, Research and Standards Barabina Mumba.

“The Commission wishes to state that it is not targeting any person at the Ministry of Finance. The investigations are purely professional and based on information of alleged abuse of office and theft of public funds perpetrated by named individuals,” he said.

Mr Moono further clarified that some individuals have voluntarily offered to pay back the funds they illegally received.

“This is provided for under Section 80 of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012,” he said.

Mr Moono said the Commission has subsequently restricted several bank accounts held by individuals suspected to be involved in this saga as part of on-going investigations.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 17th March, 2023)

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