On February 16 and 17, 2013 government media published screaming headlines that the Anti-Corruption has arrested Hakainde Hichilema’s lawyer Keith Mweemba for corruption. See one article here or hereAlmost two months later, the truth of Mwemba’s arrest has been known. It has nothing to do with Mwemba’s corruption but drug trafficking within DEC done by senior DEC officials.
For nine years, Keith Mweemba worked at the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) as a prosecutor. He left DEC and went into private practice mainly defending drug related cases.
The Watchdog is informed that Mweemba left DEC in frustration after witnessing first-hand the corruption and drug trafficking in DEC.
He has successfully defended many cases and has exposed the rot in DEC. This has made Mweemba enemy number one of DEC.
But the case that has made DEC senior officers decide to sort out Mweemba and therefore frame him with corruption charges involves two Bolivians who are imprisoned in Zambia for drug trafficking.
Mweemba recently represented two Bolivians Jorge Padila and Jackeline Marone.
The two were arrested at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport with 13.2 kg (15kg as reported in the media) of cocaine.
The matter was heard by magistrate Joshua Banda. He found the two accused guilty and sentenced them to five years imprisonment each.
Magistrate Joshua Banda convicted the two based on video evidence. During trial, their lawyer Mweemba demanded an acquittal because the drugs in the video evidence were not verified in court.
The state through the DEC prosecutor objected having the drugs retested by another Independent analyst to confirm that the drugs had not been swapped.
But why did the court object and choose to believe in the assumption that the Exhibit was in fact cocaine?
According to sources at DEC, the cocaine brought in by the Bolivians was stolen by DEC officers and replaced with salt. Sources say the court was aware that officers from DEC had stolen the drugs and that is why they could not take the actual drugs to court. That is why they relied on (recorded) video evidence.
The truth is that the whole 13.2kg of cocaine was sold on Lusaka streets by the DEC officers led by Anderson Mbawhe.
Anderson Mbawhe is the younger brother to DEC boss Alita Mbawhe. He is also the Assistant Commissioner in charge of intelligence at DEC. This means that Anderson is number three in hierarchy and is the principle adviser to his sister Anita Mbawhe, the DEC boss.
Anderson Mbawhe is in his late 30s and his highest level of education is grade 12. According to Watchdog investigations, Anderson Mbawhe also is the leader of the drug cartel at DEC.
Members of his gang within DEC are Oscar Champa, Hussein Khan, Brian Chisuta, Quentin Chama, Henry Ngalasa, Nkhuwa and Alick Ndelemeti.
According to phone conversation and other records, the drugs from the two Bolivians were sold by the DEC cartel as follows:
About 5kg was sold to Mr Sam Kusein of Makeni. His mobile phone number ending with 840 shows communication with Anderson Mbawhe whose Airtel and MTN numbers both end with 200.
Six (6)kg was sold Mr Ephraim Bakala of Kamwala South. Bakala is a contact of Mbawhe and Oscar Champa.
The remaining 2kg was given to a Mr Maneku Njamba who is currently detained at Kamwala remand prison.
It appears that after selling the drugs, Mr Njamba did not give all the money to the drug lords at DEC so they planted drugs on him and later arrested him. (Note the Sir names of the buyers).
The case of the Bolivians was appealed to the high court by lawyer Mweemba and is still being heard.
This appeal has created a lot of panic amongst the DEC Cartel hence the desire by them to get rid of Mweemba.
At the moment there is a plot of putting pressure on the High Court Judge Evans Hamaundu to uphold the conviction.
Is DEC Commissioner Anita Mbawhe aware of these criminal activities or is she part of them?
Some people may remember how DEC criminals ‘sorted’ out Lusaka lawyer Lewis Chisanga Mosho for standing up to their criminal activities.
Will Mwemba survive and for how long?