7 January 2013

Zambia: Muchima to Appear in Court Today

FORMER Lands, National Resources and Environmental Protection deputy minister Elijah Muchima is today expected to appear in Mwinilunga Magistrate Court.

Mr Muchima, who is on police bond, said he was ready to appear in court today and pledged to cooperate with law enforcement officers.

"I am very ready and willing to go to the court today. There is nothing I can fear because I am not a character who is on the run. All these issues you are hearing are purely allegations aimed at tarnishing my image," Mr Muchima said.

He said he was released on bond, but denied that he had developed high blood pressure, while in a police cell.

"I wasn't even released because of high blood pressure. I am very fine," he said.

Mr Muchima who is MMD I'keleng'i Member of Parliament (MP) was arrested at the weekend and charged with one count of abuse of authority involving KR900,000 (K900 million) meant for the new Mwinilunga Civic Centre.

North-Western police chief Eugene Sibote confirmed in an interview yesterday that Mr Muchima would appear in the morning today in the Mwinilunga Magistrate Court.

"I can confirm that Mr Muchima will appear tomorrow (today) in the Mwinilunga Magistrate Court in the morning," Mr Sibote said.

Mr Muchima reported himself to Mwinilunga Police Station on Friday around 11:00 hours and he was immediately charged and locked up in a cell.

He was, however, released on police bond at the weekend.

It is alleged that Mr Muchima introduced two firms to the council to build a civic centre at the time he served as deputy minister in the MMD administration.

The two companies are Build Tech Group of Companies which was engaged to construct the Civic Centre, while Urban Technics was picked as the consulting firm to supervise the construction.

Mr Muchima is alleged to have introduced the directors at the two companies to the tendering committee of the Mwinilunga District Council but to date nothing has been built.

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