Bank manager testifies in Davies Mwila case, alleges huge deposits made in name of ex-PF Secretary-General


An administration manager at First National Bank (FNB) Zambia has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that suspicious transactions were made in the name of former Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary-General Davies Mwila, with the highest sum being K9 million.

Mukelabai Habeenzu, 39, was testifying in a matter in which Mwila is facing two counts; possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime and failure to report suspicious transactions.

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The charges related to an amount of over K102 million, believed to be the 2021 election campaign funds.

Mwila pleaded not guilty to these charges.

Habeenzu, facing Chief Resident Magistrate, Davies Chibwili, testified that between 2018 and 2022 when he was based at FNB Manda Hill, as branch administrator, there were 29 transactions made in the name of the former ruling party Secretary-General.

He said that between March and August, 2021, the bank started registering bulk deposits on Annie Mwitwa legal practitioner account.

He said the large cash deposits were made by two gentlemen namely: Greg Banda and Godfrey Mulenga.

The witness said because of the nature of the transactions, a requested reference showed D. Mwila.

“The deposits were quite huge and the lowest was K10, 000 and the highest was K9 million. The money used to come often and we started having conversations on where the money was coming from. We inquired from the gentlemen and they stated that the money was coming from the PF secretariat from well-wishers.

That’s how they could deposit all the time,” he said.

Habeenzu told the court that with time, they would deposit cash two to three times which resulted to the banks upshot of cash volumes.

“We needed to dispatch it after done with verification and the moment we started dispatching the money to other branches, they started questioning to where we were getting the money from and we said it was from PF as the gentlemen told us,” he explained.

The witness presented photocopies of vouchers and slips of references to the Court as evidence.

“Under Financial Intelligence Center, we are told or obligated to report such large cash transactions, we had to ferry cash and we could tell them that the money was coming from the PF secretariat. From my end, the transactions were categorized as suspicious transactions,” he told the court.

The witness, however, acknowledged that he had never seen Mwila in the bank making the said deposits.

When quizzed by the defence, Habeenzu admitted that there was no written evidence to show that, indeed, the huge deposits came from the PF Secretariat.

Trial continues on Tuesday.

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