Former Zambian defence minister arrested for fraud

2011-04-14 10:34

Lusaka – Zambian police arrested former defence minister George Mpombo for public theft and forgery in a move he said today was intended to silence his criticism of President Rupiah Banda.

“All these things are politically motivated by Banda,” said Mpombo.

“He does not know that he is recharging my vigour to continue fighting the corruption that he is promoting. I will not stop criticising Banda.”

Mpombo’s attorney, Wynter Kabimba, said Mpombo was released on a police bond of 5 million kwacha (R7 248) after his arrest yesterday and would appear in court on April 29.

Mpombo served under late president Levy Mwanawasa and in Banda’s cabinet, but resigned in 2009, claiming Banda was tolerating corruption. He has since been critical of the presidency.

Last August, the High Court fined Mpombo 4 million kwacha after he was convicted for bouncing a cheque of 10 million kwacha. He was also jailed for two months.

He said that even the conviction over the bouncing of a cheque was motivated by Banda because another minister had later bounced a cheque for the same amount but was still free.

“You can clearly see that all this is a ploy by Banda to silence me, but he won’t manage,” Mpombo said.

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