MALANJI DIDN’T CARRY ANY EXTRA BAGS FROM TURKEY
…apart from Two small pilot bags and a big Brown one that he normally travelled with testifies Ministerial Driver at Foreign Affairs
Lusaka, Wednesday, November 29, 2023 ( Smart Eagles)
Former Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Malanji’s Ex-driver has told the Lusaka Magistrate court that he did not see anything sinister about the Two small pilot bags and a big Brown one that his Boss travelled with to and from Turkey.
In this matter, Malanji and former Secretary to the Treasury Fred Yamba are jointly charged with willful failure to comply with procedure relating to procurement, and being in possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
This afternoon, the State presented Malanji’s Ex-driver Christopher Pomboloka, 56, to testify what transpired between 27th and 31st December, 2020, when then Foreign Affairs Minister travelled to Turkey.
In his testimony, Pomboloka said he assisted Malanji with the loading of his laguage in the Car as he was headed for the Airport on December 28th, 2020.
He told the court that he loaded one heavy brown bag and two small pilot bags on the vehicle when the two left for the Airport.
“On 27 December, 2020, I was at the office with Hon Malanji and we knocked off around 17:00hrs and I drove him Home. He then asked me that tomorrow morning on 28th December, 2020, you should pick me at 6am because I have a trip to Turkey,” Pomboloka testified.
“When I got to his Home around 6am on 28th December, 2020, I found him ready to leave. He brought out 3 bags, 1 big suitcase, with 2 small bags with handles and wheels. And he told me to put in the vehicle. I picked the big Brown heavy bag and I picked the two smaller Pilot bags and put them in the land cruiser. After that, Hon Malanji came out of the House and asked me to drive him to the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. We got there at around 06:45hrs at Zambezi VIP Lounge.”
He further explained that upon his return from Turkey, Malanji was with the same bags he had travelled with, weighing the same.
“24:05hrs on 31st December, 2020, I started the vehicle when Hon Malanji arrived at the vehicle with protocol officers, the big brown bag and the two small black bags that he had travelled with. Hon Malanji asked that I open the bonnet so that the 3 bags can be loaded and we started moving, and got to his Roma Home around 24:30hrs and when he came out, he asked me to take the bags in the house. I started with the big Brown bag then the two small bags,” He said.
During cross examination by the Defense, Pomboloka confirmed that the the same bags Malanji travelled with are the same ones he came back with .
He also confirmed that he had no idea on what was contained in the bag. He also said there was nothing sinister about the bags that Malanji traveled with.
He said Malanji would normally carry the big brown bag and the smaller one on his International trips as Foreign Affairs Minister.
Pomboloka has been a driver at Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 30 years. He worked with Malanji from 2019-2021.
Previously, Malanji had been accused of carrying $4.6 million in several big black bags from Ankara when he traveled to Turkey between 27th and 31st December, 2020.