State witness exonerates Malanji, Yamba
By CHARLES MUSONDA
THERE was nothing illegal and irregular with Government’s purchase of property in Turkey, a State witness has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court.
Another witness has conceded that the Secretary to the Treasury is not responsible for procurement procedures as his only duty is to appoint controlling officers in ministries.
This is in a case in which former Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba and former Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Malanji have been charged with willful failure to comply with procedure relating to procurement, and being in possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Yamba is accused of having failed to follow procedure in relation to the buying of an estate in Turkey while Malanji is accused of being in possession of houses, a hotel, and a helicopter, property suspected to be proceeds of crime. Testifying in the matter before Magistrate Irene Wishimanga yesterday, former Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary for budget and economic affairs Dr. Emmanuel Pamu said in 2020 there was an allocation of K108 million that was made to the Foreign Affairs ministry for overseas allowances but the money was returned to the Ministry of Finance because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had already funded the overseas allowances.
Dr. Pamu said after the money was returned, acting director budgeting Jonathan Phiri initiated the process of varying the money after which Yamba approved transfer of the money to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for purchase of government property in Turkey.
He said before the payment was processed, it was subjected to internal audit.
And a witness from the Zambia Public Procurement Agency (ZPPA) Gilbert Mbewe said the controlling officers is the one who should held responsible for any breach of the Public Procurement Act because he is part of the procurement entity.