NDC leader Chishimba Kambwili has told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that he does not really know why he is in court as the charge sheet does not specify the false information he gave to a public officer.
Kambwili said the no change return was not a false document as it was issued by Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA), which was signed by companies annually to indicate whether there were any changes regarding the names of directors.
This is in a matter where Kambwili is facing charges of forgery, uttering a false document and giving false information to a public officer.
When the matter came up for continued defense before principal resident magistrate David Simusamba on Thursday afternoon, Kambwili said he was given two powers of attorney by his son Mwamba.
Kambwili said before he became a minister, he was given a power of attorney by Mwamba and that when he became a minister of youth and sports, circumstances changed as there was a directive from government that ministers declare what they own.
He said his son authorised him to indicate his position as minister and on December 21, 2012 Mwamba gave him another power of attorney, which indicated his position as minister of youth and sports.
Kambwili explained that it was a requirement to declare interest in an organisation and late President Michael Sata requested that ministers declare everything they were doing while serving as minister.
He added that the first power of attorney did not indicate that he was a minister but it was only indicated in the second one.
When asked by his lawyer Gilbert Phiri on whether he uttered a false no change return company form 71 to a public officer, Kambwili said he has never uttered any document to PACRA pertaining Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services limited.
“I insist that I have never uttered any document to PACRA. To the contrary I signed form 71( no change return) based on the power of attorney that I was given by my son on December 21, 2012 and when I signed the document, it remained at Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services limited head office in Luanshya,” he explained.
“Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services limited is a corporate entity with a full corporate structure with a CEO, human resource manager, chief accountant who is Indian, logistics manager and clerical officers who have the responsibility to carry out the day-to-day management of Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services limited.”
When asked why he signed the said document, Kambwili said “the no change return is signed annually to indicate whether or not there are changes to the names of the directors. Every time there were documents to be signed by Mwamba, the company would inform me and I would go to the head office and sign but I am not and I was not in charge of delivering documents on behalf of the company to any relevant institution.”
He wondered how he would give false information to a public officer when he has never visited PACRA over issues relating to Mwamona or any other company, neither has he interacted with or seen the said officers, including the registrar of PACRA.
“The indictment does not give specific false information that I gave to a public officer, I cannot address myself to an issue that I don’t understand,” Kambwili said.
“The false information they talked about was in relation to form 71, which I only signed on behalf of my son, therefore, anything that was done afterwards relating to the company was not done by me.”
When asked why the name Kambwili was omitted on the documents relating to Mwamona, Kambwili said his surname was left out because the company begun to lose out on business as the MMD government instructed mines on the Copperbelt not to engage in business transactions with a company that bears his name.
“Mwamba’s full names as at birth is Mwamba Chishimba Kambwili but on the registration of Mwamona, on most of the documents, you would observe there is only Mwamba Chishimba just like my wife Carol Chansa Chipande Kambwili she uses Carol Chansa. If you look at the names of this company, it is only indicating two names for each person,” he explained.
“My wife explained to me that they did not want the Kambwili name to appear on the company documents because the mining companies were told not to deal with any company where the name Chishimba Kambwili appears, they did not use the Kambwili name to avoid business victimisation.”
He explained that “according to our Bemba tradition, if you have more than two names, you can use any of the names as your surnames like my grandfather, he was Diamond Chiposwa Kambwili but on all his documents, he used Diamond Chiposwa and so did his brothers. It was only my father that used the names Jackson Mubanga Bwembya Kambwili and myself I am Chishimba Friday Kambwili but I only use Chishimba Kambwili.”
Keith Mweemba also asked the NDC leader why his sister Sampa was not included on the list of directors for the company to which Kambwili explained that according to his wife, she was advised by James Nyasulu, who went to consult at PACRA about the number of directors a company can register, and was told that it was possible for two names to be registered on the list of directors and Carol directed Nyasulu not to include Sampa.
Kambwili said Nyasulu helped Carol to register the company and he was later employed as general manager of Mwamona.
He added that when removing Sampa’s name from the list of directors, the person who was preparing the documents for the company removed Sampa’s name and attached her National Registration Card number to Mwamba’s name but no one noticed the anomally until the matter was taken to court.
“I was not involved in the registration of Mwamona and I am not a shareholder. The role that I played was to sign where my son was supposed to sign by the power of attorney and I was appointed on the non-executive board to sign for the release of monies whilst my wife was away together with my son who was at University in the United kingdom. I signed so that there could be order,” Kambwili explained.
When asked by state counsel Musa Mwenye if he forged the no change return and uttered the same, Kambwili said “I am extremely shocked that I can be brought to court on forgery charges relating to Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services. I am a law abiding citizen. Mwamona Engineering’s main customers are the mining companies and not government.”
He indicated that he had commenced a lawsuit against EEP leader Chilufya Tayali in the Lusaka High Court for defamation because what the latter alleged during a press briefing and the report he lodged at the police station was malicious.
When asked about the status quo of the court action,n Kambwili explained that Tayali approached his lawyers and apologised for his utterances at the press briefing and as a human being, he (Kambwili) does not want to hold grudges against people, especially when they apologise.
He said following Tayali’s apology, the matter was discontinued.
When asked if he talked to Tayali about the current charges he is facing before magistrate Simusamba, Kambwili denied saying he did not want to accord Tayali an opportunity to allege that he was interfering with him.
He added that Mwamba’s name on the company documents was not fictitious.
At this point, Mwenye made an application that Kambwili’s wife, who is based in London, be cross-examined through a video link as she could not travel because of the conditions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Magistrate Simusamba adjourned the matter to June 24.