27 December 2012

Zambia: Thandiwe Sues Anti-Corruption Commission

FORMER First Lady Thandiwe Banda has sued Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over the seized apartments at the Mpundu Trust Limited on Leopards Hill Road in Lusaka.

Ms Banda of Villa Number Three, Plot 2758 off Leopards Hill Road, New Kasama wants the Lusaka High Court to order with costs, the reversal of the restriction notice to lease or dispose of the property issued by the ACC against her property.

She wants in the alternative, the Court to annul the restriction notice and allow her to lease out the property and employ property managers.

Ms Banda, who sued in her capacity as director of the project wants the Court to award her damages for the loss of time on the project.

She said she was the lawful owner of the property at Stand Number 1F/488A/29A, Leopards Hill Road.

The former First Lady filed an affidavit in support of originating summons in the Principal Registry through her lawyers of Central Chambers yesterday.

She contended that Mpundu Trust Limited was established in 2009 to look after the interests of her twins and their future education and health needs.

She said she applied to Access Bank Zambia Limited for a loan of up to US$600,000 for the completion of the construction of the 12 residential properties.

Ms Banda said on April 9, 2009 the bank offered her the loan and on February 16 2011 she again applied to the bank asking for a further loan of up to $1 million for the completion of construction.

She said the agreement was that the rentals for the lease of the flats would help pay off the loan.

Ms Banda added that she obtained an additional $1 million loan from Hands Industries LCC of Dubai.

On January 4, this year, she received a restriction notice issued under Section 56 of the ACC Act number 38 of 2010 directing her not to dispose of or deal with the property.

She said the restriction notice was issued on the pretext that ACC was conducting investigations into offences alleged to or suspected to have been committed under part III of ACC Act number 38 of 2010.

Ms Banda said ever since the notice was issued, she had never been informed of the offence under investigations.

"I reasonably believe that no investigations are being conducted and the issue of restriction notices is an act of harassment and amounts to abuse of authority by the respondent. The restriction notice has scared any possible tenants in the project and the whole project is in jeopardy," Ms Banda said.

Ms Banda said the issuance of the restriction notices was unreasonable and defied logic.

She said the Commission was well aware that the funding for the project was dependent upon the project being leased out and that she has not committed any crime in its acquisition.

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