MCQUEEN ZAZA DENIES EXTORTION CHARGES: ” I ONLY GOT THE MONEY SO I COULD REPORT MY CLIENT TO ACC”
By Julia Malunga,
LUSAKA Lawyer Mcqueen Zaza has denied allegations that he extorted money from a businessman saying he only accepted a bribe which he was offered so that he could report the said businessman to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Zaza, however, said before he could execute his plans of reporting Royd Musonda to the ACC, he was arrested and charged with extortion.
Last week, police revealed that they had arrested Zaza, a police officer and an engineer and charged them with extortion involving K40,000.
“Police in Lusaka received a report of Extortion from Yvonne Shakantu aged 51 of House No. 31, Chitimukulu road, PHI Lusaka, a business lady who reported on behalf of Roy Musonda aged 39 of Plot No. 30, Birds view, Silverest, a Business consultant and Director at Big Eye Limited who has a contract with Ministry of Defence to supply Uniforms, Bulletproof vests that he was swindled of K40,000 by unscrupulous people,” read a police statement.
But in an interview, Zaza said Musonda actually owed his company K2,000.
“What happened was that Mr Roy Musonda, the man I knew as an immigration consultant, owed our company money in the sum of K2,000. This was a refund for his failure to obtain an investment permit for Mr Boaz, one of our directors. We, Oriane company limited, had engaged Mr Roy Musonda to obtain an investment permit for Mr Boaz. The company and Mr Musonda agreed to do the permit for K55,000 which was to be paid in two instalments, K45,000 and last K10,000.
The company paid the first instalment in the sum of K45,000 on or about the 15th of July 2021. He was to deliver the permit in two weeks. From July to October, the said Mr Musonda failed to deliver the permit. This brought panic to Mr Boaz as his temporal permit was expiring on the 22nd September 2021,” Zaza explained.
“As a result, I started calling Mr Musonda to hear what was happening but to no avail. He often ignored or cut my calls. I sent him texts but to no avail. He then agreed to refund the money on the 6th of October. He paid us K43,000 and a balance of K2,000 was promised to be paid on the next Tuesday.
Tuesday came and we went. He failed to refund us. This led to an exchange of texts in demand for our money. Then on the 14th of October 2021, he asked for a meeting with me over the balance and I proposed to meet at Garden City Mall car wash.”
Zaza said Musonda offered to pay him K40,000 to drop some charges, which he resisted but later accepted after about three hours.
“We met at the car wash on the very day, and Mr Musonda came with a pistol. While holding the said pistol, he asked me to follow him and I refused because I was scared. He then reached out to me saying he was going to manhandle me. I still refused to follow him. A police officer whom I came to know as Inspector Chilufya then introduced himself as such, asked Mr Roy Musonda to [follow him to] Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe.
We went there and Mr Roy Musonda was asked why he came to a meeting with a pistol. At that point, Mr Musonda said that was part of his life as he was a supplier of guns and other uniform materials to ZNS, police and defence,” he said.
“Richard Phiri asked him why he carried a gun when it was an offence. At that point, the police officer read the offence to Mr Musonda, he then asked for forgiveness and offered me, as a complainant, the sum of K40, 000 to drop the charge. I refused and kept refusing for two to three hours.
Even his friend begged me to drop the charges and even said he would give me K40,000. He cried and asked for my forgiveness. Until after some good three hours, I agreed to drop the charge and he asked us to go to his office to get the money.”
Zaza said he accepted the money because he wanted to report the case to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
“I went there and he gave me K30, 000 and told me he was giving the police K10,000. I left his office and we gave the police officer a lift back to the police. While in the car, I asked the police how much he had been given by Roy Musonda, and said he was given K10,000 which he handed over to me. I told him that we needed to report Mr Roy Musonda to ACC for offering and giving a police officer money.
I kept the money because I wanted to go and report to ACC. The next day, 15th October 2021, Mr Musonda sent me a text saying he was ready. I wondered what that meant hence I called him. He told me that he wanted to give me a refund of K2,000 for the company. I told him it was not necessary as he had already given [me] K30,000,” Zaza narrated.
“He again insisted I go meet him at his office. I told him I would see him after the public debate at Radisson Hotel. After the debate I called him and went to meet him. While talking to him and telling him how it was unnecessary to give me the refund, police officers from Chelstone police came.
They shot gun shots in the air and started beating me while on the ground. This was around 21:00 hours. I was taken to Chelstone police station and detained there from the 15th day of October to Sunday the 17th day of October 2021, 13:40 hours. They got all my things including a phone and car.”
Zaza lamented that the police never took a statement from him.
He said he was surprised when he was later charged with extortion.
“They never allowed me to have food, water or even access to any of my friends or relatives. I wasn’t even allowed to access my medicines, insulin. I sat in the police cells hungry till I was released on bond on the 17th day of October and it was on that day that I was told of the charge of extortion. I was surprised because I never did that. The police have not even taken any statement from me to verify what happened. They merely intimidated me,” said Zaza.
“On the day of release, Mr Roy Musonda said that he was going to drop the charge against me if I refunded him K40,000 plus interest K30,000. I agreed to do this and have since paid the said amount. Surprisingly and maliciously, I saw a report from police saying I had extorted Mr Roy Musonda using the name of Jack Mwiimbu and that of the president. Furthermore, I saw my bond form on social media. The bond document was obtained from Chelstone police station as it was a copy that remains with police and put on social media to further scandalize my name.”