Ex-president Banda’s trial: State witness fails to produce original document

Trial in the matter in which former republican President Rupiah Banda is charged with abuse of authority of office in relations to a Nigerian oil procurement deal has commenced in the Lusaka Magistrate court today.

And a state witness this afternoon failed to produce an original document of the request that was allegedly signed by former president Rupiah Banda to procure forty five thousand litres of oil and procurement of mineral water from Nigeria.

Testifying before Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda, Derrick Kasonka 44 a Police officer of Emmasdale police camp told the court that on 20th December, 2011 he conducted a search at former energy minister’s house Kenneth Konga.

Kasonka testified that it was during that time when he came across several documents that included a state house document that was addressed to the president of the Federal republic of Nigeria for the procurement oil.

He told the court that the said document was a request signed by Mr Banda on 28th November, 2008 and had a date stamp on the far right.

But defence lawyers Lubinda Linyama and Sakwiba Sikota argued that the court could not proceed on the basis of assumptions but that the witness must give the best evidence by providing the original copy of the document.

They also contended that trial had just begun and the court did not know what the former energy minister would say.

Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda adjourned ruling on the issues raised by the defence team to tomorrow so that he can have enough time to read the case that was cited as having created a precedent.

QFM