Ex-Legal counsel at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has told the Lusaka magistrate court that there was no report that showed ex-Foreign Affairs Minister, Joseph Malanji, receiving money amounting to US$4.6 million.
Lidya Mataa who is now Deputy permanent representative at the permanent mission of Zambia to the United Kingdom (UK) in Geneva said in cross examination that at no time did she find Malanji in connection with the money.
She told Senior magistrate Irene Wishimanga, on Tuesday, that she could not confirm if US$4.6 million went to Malanji.
She was testifying in a matter in which Malanji and former Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba were charged with 10 counts of willful failure to comply with laid down procedures and possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Yamba was charged with two counts of willful failure to comply with laid down procedures while Malanji was facing eight counts of being in possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Mataa when asked by one of the defense lawyers, Makebi Zulu, if she interviewed Merel Yildirim trading as Gaye Real Estate and Consultancy Company on her mission to Ankara, Turkey, she said Meril kept changing statements, but they recorded what she said.
Zulu, further asked if Merel was trying to hide something on the report, she responded in affirmative.
Mataa submitted that she could not attest to the truthfulness of the document before court because she only got the information from the investigations and who she interviewed.
“I cannot say the document is correct or not. I was only conducting my mission so I could not attest to the truthfulness of the document,” she said.
Mataa also said Yamba was not part of the Ministerial tender committee both in Zambia and Turkey and that there was nothing unusual for the Ministry of Finance to send funds before the contract was signed.
It is alleged in the first count that between January, 1, 2020 and August, 31, 2021 at Lusaka, being Secretary to the Treasury, jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown did willfully fail to comply with the law in the manner he allegedly allocated and authorized the transfer of K108,401,197.00 to the Zambian Mission Account in Turkey for the procurement of real estate among others.
It was also alleged in the other counts that Malanji between January, 1, 2020 and August, 31, 2021 in Lusaka possessed a Bell 430 jet ranger helicopter, property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.
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