Amos Chanda, a former press secretary for the State House, was seen on camera apparently confessing to collecting and burning court documents, according to a DEC officer who described the incident yesterday.
The investigations officer claimed to have taped Chanda after 22:200 hours at the Sarova Hotel as he was speaking with former Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) chief executive officer Zindaba Soko and a Lebanese individual named Walid El Nahas.
Chanda is accused of stealing a court file and damaging evidence in this case.
Jones Siasamba, a DEC investigations officer, testified in court yesterday that he was on duty at the Sarova Hotel in Lusaka on September 30, 2022, when live music was being played.
He claimed that he went to the second floor of the hotel with two of his coworkers, Philip Nkhuwa being one of them.
He claimed that Mr. Nkhuwa then noticed a Lebanese man saying the names Soko and Amos loudly over the phone.
Afterwards, a man near the poolside identified as Mr. Zindaba Soko joined the Lebanese man, Walid El Nahas, according to Mr. Siasamba.
Mr Walid was calling someone he was referring to as Amos. He mentioned to Mr Soko that the person they were waiting for was almost at the hotel,” he said.
According to Mr. Siasamba, he then took his recorder out, turned it on, and began to wait for the person Mr. Walid and Mr. Soko were hoping to see.
When I saw Mr Chanda entering, I pressed the recorder on and pushed it on a granite stone close to the table,” he said
The witness, who was seated next to Mr. Chanda, claimed to have then begun to overhear their talk.
The three, according to Mr. Siasamba, discussed how the DEC director general was being utilized as a political pawn.
“It was at that point that Mr Walid said let’s talk about us. Mr Chanda brought out the issue of their case.
“He said that the case record had 398 pages and that he has burnt it himself. He further talked about the issue of immunity, that he did not sign the document of immunity but paid a K45,000 which was receipted and that receipt was evidence enough that he has immunity.”
Amos Chanda was also seen telling Mr. Findlay that Edgar Lungu is only standing because he (Amos Chanda) hasn’t said anything, according to Mr. Siasamba.
“Mr Soko then said that I hope there are no people listening to their conversation. It was at this point that I slowly pulled out the recorder and switched it off,” Mr Siasamba said.
Additionally, the defense questioned whether the allegedly burned court record stated in the recording was the one listed on the indictment during cross-examination.
No, the witness replied.
When pressed further if he had any further proof that their client had gathered and burned the paper, the man gave a negative response.