TWO businessmen and a farmer of Lusaka have been taken to court for illegal possession of a live pangolin, one of the most trafficked mammal in the world, valued at over K23, 000.
Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy, while their scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine as they are believed to treat a range of ailments from asthma to rheumatism and arthritis.
The suspects in the case are Isaac Nkhata, 44, of Kamwala South, his fellow businessman Patrick Mwambi, 42, of Kamanga, and Jairos Zulu, 64, a farmer of Mungule area.
They are charged with illegal possession of protected trophy, contrary to section 130(1) of the Zambia Wildlife Act.
Allegations are that on January 13 this year, the trio, had in their possession, a live pangolin, a vehicle registration number ALL3389 and a brown sack.
All the properties in their possession are believed to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.
The trio pleaded not guilty before Lusaka magistrate Mutinta Mwenya.
During trial, a Department of National Parks and Wildlife narrated how the suspects were arrested in connection with the allegations.
Patrick Mukupa, of Kafue, narrated that the arrest was after the department received information that some people had a pangolin.
He said the mammal in question was weighing 8.2kilogrammes and valued at K23, 438.
“I received exhibits, a car, car keys, a brown sack bag brown in colour. I warned the suspects and reminded them of their rights.
“Isaac Nkhata asked for forgiveness, Patrick Mwambi did not say anything while Jairos Zulu also asked for forgiveness,” the officer said.
He said he later charged and arrested the trio in connection with the charge.
In cross examination, Nkhata contended that he has never seen the pangolin in contention from inception.
“Which magistrate saw it?” the accused asked as Mr Mukupa told him that he could not recall the magistrate’s name.
“Do you know that disposal order [for the pangolin] is fake?” Nkhata asked the officer who responded in the negative.
“Where is the pangolin in question?” the accused asked as the officer responded “There is an order of disposal, that’s my evidence”.
“We cannot be talking about a fictitious and imaginable thing,” Nkhata rebutted.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 30th January, 2024)
ACC nab senior accountant, businessman
A LUSAKA based senior accountant has been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) alongside a business man for possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Kasemuka Chiteta, a senior accountant stationed at police headquarters has since been charged with one count of possession of property suspected of being proceeds of crime.
ACC head of corporate communications Timothy Moono said in a statement that Kasemuka Chiteta on dates unknown but between 7th April, 2023 and 12th February 2024 in Lusaka District, concealed possession of a motor vehicle namely Toyota Landcruiser BAD4360 registered under the ownership of Chimuka Chibawe a Lusaka based businessman.
“In a similar development, the ACC has arrested and charged a Lusaka based businessman, Chimuka Chibawe of plot No. 136 C Kalomo road Chilenje” Mr Moono said.
He said Mr Chibawe has been charged with one count of Possession of Property Suspected of Being Proceeds of Crime contrary to Section 71 (1) of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of 2010.
“Details of the offence are that, Chimuka Chibawe on dates unknown but between 7th April, 2023 and 12thFebruary 2024 in Lusaka, concealed possession of a motor vehicle namely Toyota Landcruiser BAD4360 registered under his names when the beneficial owner is Mr. Kasemuka Chiteta a Senior Accountant at Police Service Headquarters,” he said.
The pair has since been released on bond pending court appearance.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 29th February, 2024)
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Delta Mines acquires 51% stake in Mopani Copper Mines in $1.1 billion deal.
DELTA Mines Plc, has concluded the acquisition of 51% shareholding in Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) translating into a US$1.1 billion investment into the mine.
In a statement, ZCCM-IH Corporate Affairs Manager Loisa Mbatha said ZCCM-IH will retain 49% shares in Mopani, with 3 out of 9 board seats while Delta will have 5 and government one seat
She said the approval was made during a Shareholder’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held in Lusaka last week.
“ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) shareholders have unanimously approved the Mopani Copper Mines Plc (Mapani) transaction where Delta Mining Limited (Delta), a subsidiary of International Resource Holdings (IRH), has agreed to acquire a 51% shareholding in Mopani for a total investment of up to US$1.1 billion,”she said.
ZCCM-IH Board Chairperson Kakenenwa Muyangwa said the transaction is a landmark achievement that delivers significant value to ZCCM-H, Mopani, and the Zambian people.
“It’s pleasing to note that IRH has committed to retain Zambian workers, including the management team, who will be complimented by new skills and expertise from Delta to facilitate the expansion of MCM production to 200, 000 tonnes per annum”, said Mr Muyangwa.
ZCCM-IH Board Director Phillippe Taussac who represents minority shareholders said that “the extinguishing of the Mopani $1.5billion debt that ZCCM-IH had guaranteed, will certainly lead to significantly improved financial performance for all ZCCM-H’s shareholders.
(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 27th February, 2024)