Mwamona was genuinely awarded contract – Zesco tells court

By Staff Reporter

THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has heard that Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services Limited, a company jointly charged with Chishimba Kambwili, his son Mwamba and two Zambia Revenue Authority employees, was genuinely awarded the contract to construct houses and complete VIP toilets at Lunzuma Hydro Power Station as they met the bidding criteria.

Lusaka principal resident magistrate Mwaka Mikalile heard this during cross examination in a case where Kambwili, Mwamba, Mwamona, ZRA employees, Brano Musonda, a senior inspector and Mulenga Kapilima,  a revenue officer, are charged with 39 counts of

being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime,

among others amounting to more than K5 million.

Zesco senior manager, procurement and stores Brian Kambole told the court that Mwamona met the criteria for the bid and that was the reason why they were awarded the contract.

He also said Mwamona’s Tax clearance certificate attached to the documents was valid at the time and to date.

Kambole said because Mwamona’s bid was correct, they got the contract and were entitled to be paid for the services it rendered to Zesco.

He said Zesco was obliged to pay Mwamona according to the contract signed and the money was clean as it came from Zesco.

Kambole explained to the court the procedure followed in awarding a contract or tender.

And in his evidence-in-chief, Kambole narrated how the Anti-Corruption Commission on December 2, 2016, served a warrant to access information on Zesco managing director’s office where they were requesting for documents relating to a contract signed by the utility and Mwamona.

He said ACC in particular needed bidding documents, the evaluation report, contract, Zesco procurement committee resolutions and the signed minutes of the contract negotiations.

Kambole said since he was in-charge of procurement and stores, he prepared the documents which were given to ACC through the Zesco managing director’s office.

He said the contract was for Mwamona Engineering Technical Services Limited construction of houses and VIP toilets.

Meanwhile, magistrate Mikalile heard that Atlas Mara formerly Finance Bank Zambia Limited has never lodged a complaint to Financial Intelligence Center (FIC) against Mwamona’s bank account activities held at its Luanshya branch concerning suspicious transactions on its account.

Atlas Mara Luanshya branch manager Nalishebo Chibatabata said all the various transactions made on the Mwamona current dollar account number 031445179000201 at its branch were clean and no report has been made against the company either to FIC or any money laundering agency.

She said the money laundering department of the bank has also never generated a report against the account on money laundering, adding that they was nothing illegal that Kambwili did as far as she was concerned at the bank.

The witness said on February 16, 2018, officers from the ACC approached the bank requesting for a bank statement on the Mwamona bank account which was given to them.

Hearing continues.