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ZRA cars “awarded” to PF, court hears

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A MAGISTRATE heard that the Zambia Revenue Authority(ZRA) reserved vehicles which were meant to be auctioned to their workers and awarded them to the Patriotic Front(PF).

Sitali Mulozi, a former administration manager at ZRA, narrated that this happened from 2017 to 2021.

Mr Mulozi said that the cars were awarded to the PF, the a ruling party, for mobilization and campaign activities.

The court also heard that the motor vehiclea in question were initially part of an approved list of those on an internal tender for ZRA workers.

This evidence was adduced in a case former ZRA commissioner general Kingsley Chanda is facing 23 counts of wilful failure to comply with procedure.

Mr Chanda, 53 and former ZRA director-administration Callistus Kaoma, 53, are charges with abuse of authority relating to the disposal of over 20 government vehicles.

The alleged offenses allegedly committed between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2020.

Yesterday during trial, the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court heard that between 2017 and 2022, Mr Mulozi worked as ZRA administration manager and directly report to Mr Kaoma.

Mr Mulozi said he was also responsible for the disposal of all assets with exception of seized goods.

The witness also gave evidence on the procedure relating to disposal of assets at ZRA.

Mr Mulozi narrated that prior to 2015, ZRA disposed of cars through public auction.

He said he was later engaged Mr Mulozi who told told him that he had received many complaints from ZRA staff over their failure to participate in the public auctions of cars.

Mr Mulozi said Mr Kaoma shares that ZRA workers complained that they could not compete with externals who were believed to have formed cartels to buy the auctioned vehicles at higher prices.

He further said that it was then decided that disposal of used cars would be disposed of through internal tender.

Around 2017, Mr Kaoma asked Mr Mulozi if it were possible for non-employees to take part in the purchase of the used vehicles.

Mr Mulozi said he told Mr Kaoma that “for as long as it was internal tender, it could not be possible”.

He said Mr Kaoma then indicated that there were “external people” who were interested in buying the used ZRA vehicles.

“Not long after that discussion, Mr Kaoma called me and confided in me that the externals who were interested in the used ZRA motor vehicles were the then ruling party, the Patriotic Front and that senior officials had sent that request through the commissioner general who at the time was Dr Kingsley Chanda,” he said.

Mr Mulozi narrated that Mr Kaoma told him that Mr Chanda was fully aware and had asked him to facilitate the request.

He said despite Mr Kaoma noting that the PF were willing to pay for the cars, he informed him that it was impossible for them to participate in an internal tender.

The witness said that Mr Kaoma then told him that when the internal tender is prepared, some vehicles approved for disposal should not be placed on the internal advert for ZRA staff.

Mr Mulozi said when the advert was being prepared, Mr Kaoma advised which cars to exclude from the list.

“Mr Kaoma gave me a number of names that were to be awarded the vehicles that had been excluded. This was done in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, going into 2021,” he said

Asked if the act of reserving the cars was correct, Mr Mulozi said “exclusion of some vehicles on the advert was against company policy”.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 23rd November, 2023)

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Zindaba Soko boss detained for disobeying court 

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FORMER Road Transport and Safety Agency chief executive officer Zindaba Soko has been detained for contempt of court after he travelled to Dubai for a job interview and missed a court session.

He missed a court session in a matter he and two others are accused of forging a passport and National Registration Card (NRC) bearing a dead person’s name.

About two weeks ago, Soko asked for permission to travel abroad but was advertised to attend court before leaving but the instruction was not obeyed.

Consequently, Lusaka magistrate Irene Wishimanga issued a bench warrant against Soko .

When the case resumed yesterday, Soko was brought to court under warrant and when asked why he missed court, he told the court that his lawyers misled him.

Soko told court that his lawyers told him that they would file a notice in court indicating his absentia when he travelled abroad.

This is in a case Soko, 45, a transport consultant of Old Lilayi Road, is jointly charged with Ibrahim Mbongo, 24, a student of Libala South, Kelvin Kisambara, a businessman, both of Tokyo Way.

They are charged with forgery, uttering false documents, being found in possession of property believed to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.

Allegations are that between January 1 and 17 this year, with intent to defraud, the accused allegedly forged NRC255428/10/1 in the names John Tembo, who was reportedly dead, according the police.

The trio is further purported to show that the NRC was genuinely issued by the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship, when infact not.

It is further alleged that Kisambara later fraudulently uttered the purportedly forged NRC to a banker at FNB bank in Chilenje.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)

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DJ in court after inserting manhood in four girls’ mouths

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A 25-YEAR-OLD DISC Jockey (DJ) of Kanyama Township, Lusaka, has pleaded not guilty to the offence of unnatural offences after he allegedly sexually abused four girls by inserting his manhood in the mouth of four girls whom he invited to his house.

The victims are all under the age of 16.

The suspect, Kelvin Mutale, 25, has been charged with four counts of unnatural offences, an offence contrary to section 155(a) of the Penal Code.

It is alleged that on December 24, 2023, Mutale had carnal knowledge of four girls against the order of nature.

When he appeared in court yesterday, Mutale pleaded not guilty to all the four counts before Lusaka magistrate Crispin Hampungani for plea.

The accused then applied for bail pending trial, to which the State did not object.

Magistrate Hampungani granted Mutale bail in the sum of K20,000 and the money has to be paid in cash for the accused to be released on bond.

The court also asked the accused to bring two sureties.

The case has been adjourned to March 19 for trial.

(Mwebantu, Friday, 23rd February, 2024)

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State to grab Charity Katanga’s buses

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THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Gilbert Phiri has applied to have the 10 Higer buses worth K26million belonging to imprisoned former Deputy Inspector General of Police Charity Katanga forfeited to the State.

Further, the DPP wants forfeiture of K1.5million which is in the account for Chibeka Express Limited, the company which was operating the 10 Higer buses deemed to be proceeds of crime.

In a notice of motion filed by the DPP before the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court, the DPP says the properties should be seized because they are tainted.

The lawsuit comes after the Magistrate’s Court jailed Ms Katanga, Monday, after being found guilty of possession of the 10 buses deemed to be proceeds of crime, is the interested party.

In the DPPs documents, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC),
chief investigations officer Ewdin Mwanza submits that Ms Katanga Monday, February, 19, Ms Katanga was tried and convicted of the offence of possession of suspected proceeds of crime.

Mr Mwanza submits that court record will show that the former senior police officer’s conviction is based on her being found in possession of 10 higer buses whose registration numbers are; BAF 5118 ZM, BAF 5119 ZM, BAG 8558 ZM, BAG 8559 ZM, BAG 8733 ZM, BAJ 2476 ZM, BAJ 2590 ZM, BAJ 2919 ZM, BAV 2931, BAL 9126 ZM, all worth K26,282,770.

Mr Mwanza submits that the record will show that I also seized K1,55,005.15 in Chibeka Express Limited account number 9130000699156 Stanbic bank Ndola main branch which received these funds from the operations of the 10 higer buses found by this honourable court to be proceeds of crime.

He adds that the matter is a proper one in which the court can order that the buses and money in the account be forfeited to the State for being proceeds of crime.

The State prays that this court orders that the properties be forfeited to the State and paid into the government’s consolidated fund held at Central Bank.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 22nd February, 2024

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