DEC officer testifies against PF, claims party failed to prove legitimacy of K100 million campaign funds


A senior investigations officer at the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has testified in the Lusaka Magistrates Court that the opposition Patriotic Front (PF) failed to produce documentation to prove the legitimacy of the K100 million 2021 campaign funds.

This is in the matter where Davies Mwila, the former Secretary-General of the PF, and Anna Mwitwa, a Lusaka lawyer, are accused of possessing property suspected to be proceeds of crime and failing to report suspicious transactions related to the 2021 election campaign funds amounting to over K102 million.

Highgon Chilele testified that the investigation revealed that the funds were deposited into Anna Mwitwa’s account in cash, with no clear source of the money.

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The investigation found that the money was used to pay various media houses for advertising services, but the contracts were not signed by the PF, raising suspicions.

The witness stated that Mwila, as the PF Secretary General, was responsible for issuing advertising contracts to media houses but failed to provide documentation to support the legitimacy of the funds.

“In the account of Anna Mwitwa, wherever a deposit was made, there was a corresponding transfer, which is a credit to the beneficiary of the money. Most of these credits were being sent to various media houses, over 50 media houses, both radio and TV stations,” he stated.

He further testified that the media houses provided DEC with documents, including contracts.

However, some of the contracts obtained from Times of Zambia and Zambia Daily Mail were not signed by the party Secretary-General but instead bore the signatures of representatives or individuals authorized to sign on their behalf.

“I asked them why the contracts were not signed by the PF Secretary-General, and they explained that despite their efforts to persuade the PF to sign the contracts, the party refused to do so, citing their status as government institutions,” he told the court.

The investigation found that the money was not reported to the Financial Intelligence Center (FIC), as required by law.

Chilele said the frequency of the cash deposits was within a period of one month, with three to six transactions per week being deposited into Mwitwa’s FNB account.

The highest amount deposited was K9 million and the lowest was K10,000.

The defense cross-examined the witness, highlighting that Mwitwa did not possess the money mentioned in the indictment, as it had already been transferred to the media houses.

The defense also questioned why Mwila was charged without evidence of him possessing the money. The matter has been adjourned to June 13, 2024.

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