Convict Andrew Banda, DPP urges court

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DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mutembo Nchito says former Deputy High Commissioner to India, Andrew Banda, should be convicted for alleged corruption involving over K171,000 because there is overwhelming evidence to convict him.
Mr Nchito said in the State’s final submissions filed in the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday that the prosecution has established a prima facie case to convict Banda.
Banda, a former first secretary for political affairs at the Zambian embassy in Italy, is charged with one count of gratification for giving assistance on contracts contrary to the Laws of Zambia.
He is accused of having solicited and agreed to receive two percent of all the money paid to Fratelli Locci SRI, a company owned by Italian businessman Antenello Locci, by the Road Development Agency.
Banda, former President Rupiah Banda’s son, allegedly received K121,065,700, K30,000 and K20,000 from Mr Locci as an inducement or reward for having given assistance to Mr Locci in the award of contracts.
“Your honour, looking at the evidence before the court, we contend that the State has established all the ingredients of the offence for the accused to be convicted,” Mr Nchito said.
He said Banda testified that he is not aware of the works his company, AB Logistics, did for Fratelli Locci SRI while on the other hand he stated that there are receipts to prove the money is alleged to have corruptly received was for the services his company rendered to the Italian firm.
Mr Nchito said the court’s record and evidence from the witnesses will reveal that embassy officials dealing with private citizens that may have interest in doing business in Zambia were expected to disclose such information to the embassy.
He said Banda’s interaction with the Locci family in Italy and failure to disclose his dealing as per requirement amounts to corrupt intent.
Mr Nchito said the three payments to AB Logistics are not backed by any agreement between the companies for services purportedly offered by Banda’s company.
He said AB Logistics was used in an attempt to conceal the real beneficiary of the three payments paid into AB Logistics bank account.
Mr Nchito said AB Logistics was merely a façade or front to perpetuate an illegality by Banda because it was Banda who solicited and directed the payment of the bribe to be paid through the account of AB Logistics.
He said it was not AB Logistics that solicited for a bribe but the accused person and that it is immaterial to which account the bribe was paid.
And chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda has set January 31, 2014 as judgment day.

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