Zambia News

GBM Addresses Economic and Financial Crimes Court

It’s unfair to accuse me of engaging in illegal business, GBM Addresses Economic and Financial Crimes Court

FORMER Geoffrey Mwamba, the minister of defense, has denied engaging in illegal activity when he was a minister and failed to disclose interests, saying that his companies have been legitimately conducting business in spite of allegations.

It is unjust to accuse Mr. Mwamba of conducting illegal business since he has attested that his operations are genuine.

“Our companies have always been genuine in their operations and those that may want to think that we are not sincere in our dealings would be unfair to us,” Mr Mwamba, who is GBM Group of companies chief executive officer, said when opening defence this week.

He further disclosed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Court that one of his firms, Arizona Marketing and Food Suppliers Limited, has at least 10,000 tonnes of corn valued at US$4.7 million.

“We are currently sitting on not less than 10,000 tones of maize valued at US$4.7million and maize stored at our warehouse at GBM milling plait. We are not only sitting on maize, we are sitting on more than 100,000 tones of various types of beans,” he said.

According to Mr. Mwamba, the same company paid the government US$1.2 million in 1995 to purchase 10 milling plants.

He went on to say that claims that he didn’t disclose his financial interests while a minister were false because he had done so.

“I consulted the Attorney Generals chambers via a phone call and they advised me that if i have anyone known to me who wants to supply the ministry(of defence) , i should declare interest in writing addressed to the permanent secretary. A few days later, i did exactly that,” Mr Mwamba, who was defence minister from 2011 to 2013, said.

In a case where he is accused with 24 counts of possessing property believed to be the proceeds of crime, eight counts of conflict of interest, and money laundering, he made this statement when he began his defense.

According to one of the counts, Mwamba, doing business as Arizona Marketing and Distributor, was in possession of US$399,985 through a bank account between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.

Additionally, it is claimed that between January 1 and December 31, 2019, the accused had access to US$499,985 through the bank account of Germins Motorways Limited.

Furthermore, it is alleged that the accused transferred K10 million through his Investrust Bank bank account between March 1 and March 31, 2020.

Additionally, it is claimed that he had another US$670,000 in his bank account, which included additional items that were possibly the proceeds of crime.

In his testimony, he described how he first got involved in business at the age of 17 and how, after trying out several company endeavors, he eventually rose to the position of acclaimed corporate executive.

“I’m Chief Executive Officer of GBM group of companies. In the first place your honour, I’m an accomplished businessman who started business in 1996 when my father left me with a family business called Kasama Modern Bakery to run. Kasama Modern battery was the only battery in Kasama which I was running at an age of about 17. Thereafter, we engaged in trading and in 1997, I decided to leave Kasama and come to Lusaka where I opened or registered a company your called GBM food suppliers limited,” he said

He further narrated that he later bought 40 brand new flit of buses moving across the country.

Back to top button