9 January 2013

Zambia: MMD Leader Nevers Detained

EMBATTLED MMD leader Nevers Mumba was yesterday detained after being arrested for abuse of authority involving 122, 222.85 Canadian dollars.

Dr Mumba is alleged to have abused the money at the time he served as Zambian's High Commissioner to Canada.

He was ushered into a cell at Woodlands Police Station in Lusaka around 16:00 hours after about two hours of questioning.

Dr Mumba, who is facing other criminal offences and in-house party wrangles, was also charged with wilful failure to comply with applicable procedure relating to management of public funds.

Joint Government Investigations Team spokesperson Namukolo Kasumpa said the opposition leader would remain in custody. He will appear in court today.

Dr Mumba, while in Canada between June 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011 allegedly failed to comply with laid down procedures in receiving and disbursing of 122, 229.85 Canadian dollar (CAD).

The money came as a donation to the Zambian Government from Barrick Gold Corporation.

In the second count, Dr Mumba allegedly abused his authority of office by awarding contracts valued at CAD$ 9000, CAD$ 19, 850, CAD$ 5, 248 for electrical works, carpeting and construction for a deck at the Zambian High Commissioner's residence in Canada.

He allegedly awarded the contracts to three private companies without following laid down procedure between October 1, 2009 and December 31 2010.

The three companies are Restcon Construction Services, Argos Carpet limited and Stanmark Constructions.

Dr Mumba was scheduled to appear at 10:00 hours yesterday but only emerged at the Police Station at 14:53hours and is being represented by lawyer Makebi Zulu of Fred Jere and Company.

Sakwiba Sikota from Central Chambers is also part of the defence team.

Dr Mumba was around 16:23 led to the police reception where he was asked to remove his shoes signalling his detention.

MMD Kasenengwa Member of Parliament (MP) Victoria Kalima openly broke down as Dr Mumba was preparing to proceed to the cells.

Other MMD members present were party spokesperson Dora Siliya, acting national secretary Kapembwa Simbao, and chairperson for elections, Kenneth Chipungu.

Before entering the cell, Dr Mumba told journalists that his arrest was politically-motivated and that he would continue fighting.

"I have nothing to fear. My worry is not about me going into prison but about you Zambian people still wallowing in poverty. Zambian people need answers to the promises the PF made," he said.

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