By RABECCA BANDA
AN assistant commissioner of police has told a Magistrate Court that allegations that the presidential plane carries drugs and colossal sums of money are baseless.
Mr Michael Malambo, 48, said part of his duties is to prepare and arrange the movement of the President outside State House locally and internationally.
This is in a matter in which Lusaka business man Valden Findley has sued National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili for defamation for alleging that he was using the Presidential jet to traffic drugs.
Mr Malambo testified before Magistrate Felix Kaoma that he is given information whenever the President is going out which is referred to as a manifest.
He said the manifest is a list of officials that accompany the President and he makes follow ups to those who would accompany the President so the luggage can be surrendered to his office.
He said the luggage is screened and thoroughly checked until it is safe for handling by the VVIP.
Mr Malambo said that after he is satisfied that the luggage is safe, they accompany the luggage to the airport.
He said when they arrive at the airport, before they load the luggage on the plane, procedural screening is also done in the presence of the pilot and only then is it loaded
He said he read the story like any other citizen but later on received a subpoena to appear before court.
He said the plane has never been to Israel and he has never encountered such things as drugs or money in the luggage of the President and his entourage.
When asked his opinion after reading the statement in the newspaper, Mr. Malambo said it was a defamatory statement.
He said the only time he saw Mr. Findley travel with the President was April 2, 2019 to Ndola.
Magistrate Kaoma adjourned the matter to November 16 and 17.
By RABECCA BANDA