RTSA CEO presents himself before a magistrate due to miscommunication

By Staff Reporter
ROAD Transport and Safety Agency chief executive officer Zindaba Soko yesterday appeared in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court in connection with the raid that was conducted at his house last month by a combined team of Anti-Money Laundering Investigative Unit relating to money laundering involving over US$100,000.
But Drug Enforcement Commission public relations officer Theresa Katongo has explained that Soko should have appeared for further questioning before the combined team of investigators and not at court.
Soko, who is currently on leave, appeared alongside Intelligent Mobility Solutions (IMS) board chairman Walid El Nahas.
Soko and Nahas presented themselves before chief resident magistrate Lameck Mwale but he could not read out to them the alleged offences because the charge sheet and the prosecutors handling the case was not present.
Soko’s lawyer Willis Muhanga told the court that his client, who is on bond, was summoned by DEC to appear before court.
However, in response, the State prosecutors handling other cases, said  prosecutors handling Soko’s case from DEC have not yet taken the indictment to court.
Magistrate Mwale said since DEC prosecutors were  not in court, there was nothing he could do because they are the ones who were handling the matter.
When contacted for a comment on why Soko presented himself before a magistrate before he is formerly charged and arrested, Katongo said there was miscommunication.
She said Soko was expected to appear before the investigators and not at court.
In June this year, a combined team of officers from Zambia Police, Anti-Corruption Commission and Office of the President raided and searched Soko’s residence in Lusaka.
The DEC said Soko was being investigated for possible money laundering activities.
DEC commissioner Alita Mbahwe confirmed the search and said it was part of an ongoing investigation against Soko.
Mbahwe said the Commission instituted investigations against the RTSA boss after a complaint against him.
“We are doing investigations. We received a complaint against Mr Zindaba Soko….just like any other member of the public, he’s being given a chance to explain himself in terms of allegations that have been levelled against him,” Mbahwe had told journalists.
Mbahwe added that Soko’s offences were not drug related.
 ”You will be informed in due course when we have done our investigations what exactly we are investigating Mr Soko on. Right now, for those of you who have information that Mr Soko’s house was raided yesterday, it’s a normal thing in the course of our investigations. We will go and search anyone’s home if we feel that the evidence that we require is going to be found in that place,” said Mbahwe.