By JIMMY CHIBUYE
FORMER Deputy High Commissioner to Canada Nedson Nzowa has testified that the mission opened a private bank account without Government approval to which Barrick Gold Corporation donated over CAD$ 120, 000.
And MMD president Nevers Mumba, who is former High Commissioner to Canada, wants the Lusaka Magistrate’s Court to summon Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba to explain why he should not be cited for contempt for commenting on a case which is in court.
Mr Nzowa said he discovered that the private bank account was opened when Mumba was High Commissioner to Canada and Barrick Gold donated CAD$122, 229.85.
Mr Nzowa was testifying in a case in which Mumba is charged with alleged abuse of authority of office and mismanagement of public funds involving over Canadian dollars (CAD$) 156, 000.
He said he advised Mumba against opening a private bank account because it would raise queries from auditors and Government but he was surprised to discover that the bank account was opened.
The matter is before chief resident magistrate Joshua Banda.
“Mumba asked me to work with Carolina Rodriguez, the liaison officer at the mission, to find some venues for the cultural exchange programme but I informed him that we were not making headway as every institution was asking for a deposit.
“He asked me if there was a way we could open a private bank account where we can receive donations since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had not sent any money by that time,” he said.
Mr Nzowa said the private bank account was opened and two Zambians resident in Canada, namely Joseph Daka and Mable Chipasha, were signatories to the account.
He said he advised Emmah Hamweetwa, an accountant at the mission, that it was not possible to open an account which cannot be audited because Mumba had tasked her to find out if a private bank account could be opened.
He said it was irregular to open a private account without the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr Nzowa said when Mumba came back to Zambia and he was acting high commissioner, Ms Rodriguez approached him saying the signatories, Dr Daka and Ms Chipasha, were requesting for a file containing information on the cultural exchange programme.
He said he advised Ms Rodriguez to invite the duo to approach him but the two did not heed the call.
Mr Nzowa said Dr Daka and Ms Chipasha intended to sneak the documents out of the mission without clearance, which compelled him to go through the files.
And one of Mumba’s lawyers Makebi Zulu has applied that the court should summon Mr Kabimba to explain why he should not be cited for contempt for saying the State will not enter a nolle prosequi in Mumba’s case.
Mr Zulu said it is prejudicial for Mr Kabimba to comment on a matter which is before court. Mr Zulu’s application is based on The Post newspaper dated March 7, 2013 under the headline “Amsterdam a gold digger-Kabimba.”
It is alleged that Mumba failed to comply with procedures in receiving and disbursing CAD$122,229.85, illegally awarded a contract for the electrical works (CAD$ 9, 000) and carpeting (CAD$ 19, 850) at the Zambian High Commissioner’s residence to Restcon Construction Services and Argos Carpet Limited respectively.
Mumba is also alleged to have awarded a contract for the construction of a deck at the Zambian High Commissioner’s residence valued at CAD$ 5, 248 to Stanmark Construction.
Source: Zambia Daily Mail