By CHARLES MUSONDA
LUSAKA Magistrate Nsunge Chanda says there is need to do away with the case in which former Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Commander Eric Chimese is charged with two counts of abuse of authority office, money laundering and being in possession property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Ms. Chanda said yesterday that the Judiciary has introduced a system of monitoring progress the courts are making in handling cases, especially those that started in 2018 and 2019.
She said the new system requires magistrates to write reports on adjournments they are making.
She said this shortly before adjourning another hearing that was held in camera yesterday.
In one of the previous hearings, a premier relationship manager at Absa Bank told the court that there was no suspicious transaction on Chimese’s Kwacha and dollar account. Mr Bruce Chikontwe testified that he could not render help to the court as he was not the premier relationship manager during the period in which the alleged suspicious transactions were made and that his duty was just to produce Chimese’s statements of account before the court.
Mr. Chikontwe testified that the bank did not report any suspicious transactions on the account from 2012.
He said he did not know how the account was functioning because he was not the premier relationship manager then and could therefore not help the court because his duty was just to produce the documents before court.
He said no payment of K590, 000 was made in Chimese’s account by ZAF and that the account was credited with K421, 344 by ZAF as a gratuity payment because his contract had ended but the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) seized it.
Mr. Chikontwe said the gratuity payment was not a suspicious transaction or a crime. He said it was not dubious to receive gratuity because a customer had worked for it and that it was an entitlement.
He said it was not the kind of transaction that the bank would report about.
Mr. Chikontwe denied being aware about Chimese’s appointment as a diplomat in Zimbabwe and that he was paid by government in foreign currency. He said he was not aware of the money which Chimese was given when he was recalled in 2011 therefore the said payment could not reflect on the documents he submitted before court.