10 January 2013

Zambia: Nevers Appears in Court

MMD President Nevers Mumba yesterday denied having abused authority of office as his lawyers complained of police harassment.

Dr Mumba, 52, of 17 C Middle Way Kabulonga Township, is facing four charges of abuse of authority of office and appeared before chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda.

Mumba is in the first count charged with wilful failure to comply with applicable procedures relating to management of public funds.

Between June 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011 as Zambian High Commissioner to Canada, Mumba allegedly failed to comply with procedure in disbursing of Canadian dollars (CAD) 122, 229.85 (KR647,813) from Barrick Gold Corporation.

In the second, third and fourth counts Mumba between October 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010 did allegedly abuse his authority of office by awarding contracts valued at CAD$ 9,000(KR47,700), CAD$19850 (KR105,205) and CAD$5, 248 (KR27,814).This was for electrical work, carpeting and construction of a deck at his residence in Canada to three private companies without following laid down procedures.

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

Mr Banda yesterday granted Dr Mumba a KR30, 000 (K30 million) bail in his own recognisance with two working sureties.

Initially, the prosecution objected to the bail request on grounds that he violated the Police Act Number 17 when he refused to submit his fingerprints.

One of the defence lawyers Irene Kunda complained of police harassment, alleging that a police officer had splashed muddy water on her skirt and shoes.

The magistrate ordered Kabwata Police Station officer-in-charge to take action against the officer if the allegations were proved.

The defence team applied to raise preliminary issues related to the charges.

Mr Banda adjourned the matter to January 31, this year for ruling on the application as well as setting possible trial dates.

Among notable people at court were MMD vice-president for political affairs Michael Kaingu, Muchinga Member of Parliament (MP) Howard Kunda, Kasenengwa MP, Victoria Kalima and Rufunsa MP Kenneth Chipungu.

Mumba is being represented by Sunday Nkonde, Sakwiba Sikota, Ms Kunda and Makebi Zulu, while the prosecution is being led by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) senior prosecutor Dennis Simwinga.

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