Zambia: Former First Lady Thandiwe Banda Faces Arrest

THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has submitted in the Lusaka High Court that former First Lady Thandiwe Banda is 'highly' likely to face criminal charges and be prosecuted in connection with the seized apartments belonging to Mpundu Trust Limited.

The ACC told High Court Judge Dominic Sichinga that there was likelihood that investigations against Mpundu Trust would yield a criminal case for prosecution and as such, the court should dismiss her application to cancel the restrictions on the property placed by the ACC.

The ACC said the explanation given by Ms Banda, the director of Mpundu Trust Limited after she was interviewed did not or does not successfully exculpate the Trust from the allegations.

This is in a matter in which 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 on her property.

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

But according to the affidavit in opposition of originating summons filed by ACC's Chola Kasongo, the restriction could not be cancelled because the apartments are likely to be used in the courts of law as evidence.

Mr Kasongo said the investigations were still ongoing and the commission was still investigating Mpundu Trust in relation to amounts of money that came into the Trust's account as well as the dealings of Mpundu Trust with third parties.

He said ACC was not obliged to update Ms Banda on how far the investigations have gone but the fact that she was on December 3, 2012 interviewed was an indication that investigations were active.

Mr Kasongo said ACC commenced investigations into alleged corrupt activities involving Mpundu Trust sometime last year.

He said a restriction notice was entered against Mpundu Trust on January 4, 2012 in accordance with the ACC Act and the same was served in October 2012.

"That on February 3, 2012 Thandiwe Banda as a director of Mpundu Trust was interviewed in connection with the investigations and the explanation given therein did not and does not successfully exculpate the applicant from the allegations to warrant the cancelation of the restriction notice," Mr Kasongo said.

He said contrary to Ms Banda's claims, investigations had reached an advanced stage.

Mr Justice Sichinga adjourned the matter to February 26, 2013.

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