Former Zambia president's son denies graft allegationsBy MICHAEL CHAWE in Lusaka | Wednesday, May 2 2012 at 17:36
Former Zambia President Rupiah Banda’s elder son Andrew, has denied soliciting a two per cent cut from Italian company Fratelli Locci for helping register their company in the southern Africa state.
Andrew, also Zambia’s deputy High Commissioner to India, was questioned late Tuesday by corruption investigators.
I can never disown Locci, and neither do I expect them to disown me because we had an agreement which was made a long time ago…the percentage that they are talking about is a business agreement; nothing like soliciting for anything, nothing because I have not received anything from them to do with commission, Andrew said.
“If I had that kind of money, I would not even be where I am. It is genuine that I had an agreement with these people so I could recover (my costs) for the services that I provided to them to register in the country, the logistics…there is an agreement I do not dispute that.”
He said Fratelli Locci was a company he had known even before he was in government circles.
Corruption investigators last Friday picked up Andrew at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport for alleged graft related offences.
“It is to do with an allegation of him having solicited for two per cent from an Italian construction company Fratelli Locci. The agreement was that any present or future contracts that they would get, they give him a two per cent,” joint investigations team spokesperson Charity Chanda told reporters late Tuesday.
Andrew is also being investigated for $39,000 suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Andrew was yet to be charged by Tuesday despite appearing before the joint investigations team.
Fratelli Locci won one of the biggest deals for constructing the Pedicle Road, which links Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
President Michael Sata, upon ascending to power, launched an anti-graft drive which the opposition claims was targeting them.
The government has already linked another Banda’s son, Henry, to a sale of a state telecom and oil deals he was allegedly involved in during his father’s three-year reign.
Henry, currently in South Africa, says the allegations were politically motivated.
The opposition says President Sata’s government's fight against corruption was a witch-hunt aimed at weakening his opponents.
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