FORMER President Rupiah Banda's son, Andrew, forced Fratelli Locci SRI managing director, Antonello Locci into signing a two per cent gratification contract after threatening the Italian business executive, a witness has testified in court.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigative officer Madian Kadango told the Lusaka chief resident magistrate yesterday that Andrew threatened Mr Locci by stating that his business would not flourish because he was the President's son.
Ms Kadango said Mr Locci signed the percentage gratification under duress as he feared for his businesses in Zambia.
This was in a matter in which Andrew is facing one count of gratification for giving assistance on contracts to Fratelli Locci SRI.
Particulars are that Andrew, 52, who was First Secretary at the Zambian Embassy in Italy at the time and later Deputy High Commissioner to India, solicited and agreed to receive two per cent of all money paid to Fratelli Locci SRI by the Road Development Agency.
Ms Kadango told the court that according to investigations she carried out, Mr Locci had initially refused to sign the agreement.
She said he ended up signing the contract because he was threatened that he would have difficulties in running his businesses.
She said she established during her investigations that there was no business relationship that existed between Fratelli Locci and AB Logistics and that the two per cent money that was paid to Andrew's company was nothing but for gratification.
Ms Kadango said AB Logistics rendered no services to Fratelli Locci to warrant any payments.
She said according to investigations, Andrew solicited a two per cent payment from Locci on current and future payments from the RDA.
Ms Kadango said a check at Locci's bank revealed that three payments were transferred to AB Logistics on different dates and the transfers were supported by an order from Locci.
Ms Kadango said although Andrew during investigations had produced invoices to show that he was paid for transportation services which his company had rendered to Fratelli Locci, Mr Locci told her that the payments were cover-ups and denied providing any services.
Ms Kadango said further investigations that were carried out at the RDA revealed that Mr Locci's bid for works on the Pedicle Road was not successful despite being awarded the contract eventually.
Trial continues today.