The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito has asked Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Court magistrate Joshua Banda to give him time to organise the documents to be tendered in the courts of law as evidence in a matter in which former President Rupiah Banda has been accused of corruption and abuse of office.
The request came after Major Richard Kachingwe who is heavily guarded by paramilitary police finished his testimony against former President Banda where he testified that US$550 000 was paid in unknown Barclays Bank account in Singapore in an oil deal.
At this point Mr. Nchito told court that he was not ready to proceed with the matter because he wanted to organise the evidence (documents) and therefore, asked the court to adjourn the matter to July 2013.
“I would like to get the documents together, I am applying for an adjournment and this is the first time I am asking this court for an adjournment,” he said.
Although the defence team led by Professor Patrick Mvunga did not oppose the State application, said that it was shocked that the DPP did not consult them over the evidence which he wanted to organise and therefore, “It has come with a sense of shock that the important aspect of trial has abruptly been adjourned.”
“Be as it may be your hon. We will not object to the DPP’s request as he seems to insist. However between now and then we would like to have a review of the authenticity of the evidence (documents) because this is a serious matter.”
Earlier expelled MMD national secretary Major Kachingwe testified that the Nigerian oil deal stated between the 2007 and 2009 during the Late Levy Mwanawasa reign and not under former President Rupiah Banda.
Maj. Kachingwe told court that it was not former President Banda who gave him a letter of accreditation to handle issues pertaining to crude oil deals with the Nigerian government on behalf of the Republic of Zambia.
He told court that while he served as Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria between 2007 and 2009, he had dealings with a company known as SARB Energy of Nigeria.
He said that while in that country he met two gentlemen who told him they wanted to do some oil business in Zambia.
The two further told him that they had another proposal for a government to government crude oil contract.
Major Kachingwe said that after discovering that the Nigerian crude oil deal could not work because it was not compatible with the Zambian refined oil from Indeni, the matter could not proceed and decided to travel for late President Levy Mwanawasa’s funeral.
He told the court that after the funeral, the then acting president Banda informed the late George Kunda who was Justice Minister and then Energy Minister Kenneth Konga about the deal to buy the crude oil from Nigeria.
But defence lawyers Eric Silwamba and Irene Kunda interjected saying that they were concerned about the hearsay, adding that the State should bring cases grounded on facts and not hearsay.