By NATION REPORTER
THE Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has released all the seven motor vehicles that were seized during the raid of My Home Town founder and Zambia’s South African businessman James Ndambo soon after he had hosted the most prestigious beauty pageant in Choma last July.
And sources close to Mr Ndambo, the owner of Africa Union Holdings have said the My Home Town (MHT) project would not have succeeded in implementing its philanthropic programmes to needy communities and helping many Zambians without the support of government and other stakeholders.
Wrights Chambers, the lawyers representing Mr Ndambo have confirmed that the first batch of the three motor vehicles that were seized last July were released about three weeks ago and the last four were released yesterday.
The seven motor vehicles were collected during the raid at the offices of Africa Union Civil Works Zambia Limited, a branch company of Africa Union Holdings Group which is incorporated in the Republic of South Africa.
According to a signed document from the DEC Anti Money Laundering Investigation Unit (AMLIU), the last four vehicles which included a Range Rover Sport Registration Number BAT 9907 ZM, Lexus Lx 570 Registration Number BAT 8919 ZM, BMW unregistered and a white Mercedes Benz unregistered were released yesterday.
The four vehicles that were released yesterday were signed for and handed over to Africa Union Holdings PTY by the DEC’s officer Moffat Chilonda and witnessed by Sydney Likwabila, also an officer from the Commission.
The lawyers said Mr Ndambo was commending government on its fairness and adherence to the rule of law and that the release of the vehicles would make the beneficiaries enjoy their prizes knowing that the vehicles were investigated and cleared by the state.
“The DEC has released all the motor vehicles which were collected during the raid at Africa Union Civil Works Zambia Limited, a branch company of Africa Union Holdings Group incorporated in South Africa and founded by James Ndambo. It is the opinion of Mr Ndambo that security agencies all over the world have the right to conduct raids if the laws of a particular State are followed. Mr Ndambo conveys his sincere apologies for the hurt that the aftermath of the MHT function may have caused. He also commends government for its fairness and adherence to the rule of law and because of the release of the motor vehicles, the beneficiaries will now enjoy their prizes knowing that they were investigated and cleared by the State, the lawyers said.
Wrights Chambers stated that it has been the firm belief of Mr Ndambo that Law Enforcement Agencies and other State security wings in Zambia and anywhere else in the world had the right to conduct raids within the laws of any particular State. They said the raid at the Africa Union Civil Woks Zambia Limited were not peculiar to Mr Ndambo and that was why the founder of the MHT had elected not to issue a statement nor granted any interview to the media during the said raid.
And the sources have told the Daily Nation that Mr Ndambo was not oblivious of the fact that all the My Home Town projects in Choma were successfully implemented in partnership with the government.
The sources said Government had contributed to the success of MHT through tax waivers on investment funds and tax exemptions on all imported goods and equipment and that the government should therefore be commended for its support.
Mr Ndambo, known and respected for his philanthropic activities was in Zambia and hosted one of the biggest and most priced beauty pageants contest ever in Zambia under burner of My Home Town and Zambians have continued to praise him and his organisation for the unconditional generosity.
The sources said the people of Choma and in other areas where the MHT has its presence should know and realise that all the projects for individual citizens and those dedicated to government had been successfully executed in partnership with government.
“Zambians and Choma residents in particular should know and understand that all the projects carried out by MHT were in partnership with government. Government contributes financially by way of tax waivers on investment funds and tax exemptions on all imported goods and equipment. Whatever we do in communities is in fact both in consultation and financing is done with the state. Nothing is done in isolation. All similar NGOs receive similar relief from government and so there is no need to continue praising one individual or NGO,” the source said.
The beauty pageant hosted by Mr Ndambo in Choma last month was graced by Southern Province Minister Cornelius Mweetwa and his Tourism counterpart Rhodine Sikumba.
But soon after the MHT Beauty Pageant, Mr Ndambo’s properties in Choma were raided by the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and about seven motor vehicles were seized on suspicion that they were acquired through proceeds of crime.