MY WITNESS STATEMENT IN MALANJI CASE MIGHT CONTAIN LIES, STATE WITNESS TELLS COURT…DEC officer never told me that my statement will be used in court

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Joseph Malanji

MY WITNESS STATEMENT IN MALANJI CASE MIGHT CONTAIN LIES, STATE WITNESS TELLS COURT

…DEC officer never told me that my statement will be used in court

Lusaka… Thursday, June 20, 2024

A Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) senior tax inspector Chilala Hakalima has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that the witness statement he gave to Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) against former foreign affairs minister Joseph Malanji cannot be tendered into evidence in court because it might contain some lies.

And a former Development Bank of Zambian (DBZ) senior portfolio management officer Lawrence Mainza also told the court that former Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Malanji never got a loan from DBZ.

The duo where testifying in a matter in which former foreign minister Joseph Malanji and former secretary to the treasury, Fredson Yamba are charged with 10 counts of willful failure to comply with laid down procedures and possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Yamba is charged with two counts of willful failure to comply with laid down procedures while Malanji is facing eight counts of being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.

When the matter came up for continued trial, Wednesday, Mr Hakalima who is an inspector under the investigations unity narrated to the court that when he was giving his witness statement with a named DEC officer, he was not told that it will be used in court.

Asked by defence counsel Makebi Zulu if the witness recalled giving a witness statement to any DEC officer, the witness responded in affirmative.

And asked if the said witness statement can be tendered into evidence, Hakalima responded in the negative.

Further asked why, the witness statement cannot be tendered into evidence, the witness explained that at the time the statement was taken, the officer never mentioned that it will be used in court.

“Why don’t you want your statement to be part of evidence?,” asked Zulu.

“It was taken by Mr Mukelebai, he never mentioned to me that it will be used in court,” responded the witness.

Asked further if he had a conversation with Mr Mukelebai, Mr Hakalima responded in the negative saying, “no, he just mentioned to me that let me take your findings in a statement form,” responded the witness.

And asked if the witness statement contained lies, the witness responded saying it might.

“Does it contain lies?,” asked Zulu.

“It might,” said the witness.

And earlier, a former DBZ officer Lawrence Mainza informed the court that Malanji never got a loan from their bank.

Mainza also told the court that there were no any irregularities in the loan that was given to Royal Gibson Hotel.

The matter comes up today for continued trial.

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