Court hears trail of money from China Harbour in Chitotela corruption case
By Staff Reporter
A WITNESS has testified that a law firm Andrews and Partners made a transfer of US$154,000 to MSK Advocates after it received over US$ 299,000 in its account held at FNB bank in Lusaka.
This is in a case in which Infrastructure minister Ronald Chitotela is jointly charged with Gregory Chibanga, Brut Holdings Limited operations manager Mwenya Chisala and Diris Mukange for concealing two properties in Makeni and Ibex Hill and possession of the same which are suspected to be proceeds of crime.
In count one and two, it is alleged that Chitotela, Chibanga and Brut Holding Limited between July 1, 2016 and October 30, 2018, in Lusaka, jointly and whilst acting together concealed lot number 148 of farm 50A situated in Makeni, Lusaka, concealed in the names of Mukange and the remaining extent of subdivision A of lot 22183 /M situated in Ibex Hill Lusaka which was also disguised in the name of the latter.
The two properties are reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.
Mukange in count three and four is accused of possessing the two properties which were suspected of being proceeds of crime.
The four pleaded not guilty.
During continued trial in the matter, Mwangala Sikombe, 38, an administration manager at FNB Bank told the court that on December 26, 2018, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) served her a warrant concerning one of the banks customers, Andrews and Partners.
Sikombe testified that the warrant was requesting her to provide documents concerning a transfer which the customer did.
She explained that she was requested to show that the client had an account with FNB Bank which was opened in June 2016.
The witness said Andrews and Partners received US$299,995 from China Habour through China Bank Zambia on July 27, 2016.
Sikombe said the ACC officers wanted a bank statement in the name of Andrews and Partners showing the amount that was credited to the client’s account.
She said ACC requested a statement which showed the transfer of US$154,000 to MSK Advocates.
Sikombe said on July 27, 2016, Andrews and Partners withdrew cash of US$5,000 over the counter and later made an online payment of US$140,000 to Lungu Sim.
Sikombe said the law firm made a payment of US$154,000 to MSK and Advocates.
And in the same matter, the court heard that Bank of China Zambia was approached by ACC who wanted a mandate file and statement of China Harbour.
Bank of China public relations manager Sandra Kabungwe Namukobo said the bank availed the bank statement which ACC requested for in particular the transaction by China Harbour in which it paid Andrews and Partners US$300,000.
Trial continues on April 2.