Zambian authorities Thursday arrested former President Rupiah Banda’s son Andrew for alleged corruption, according to an investigations official.
Investigative wings late April interrogated Mr Andrew Banda, who is also the deputy High Commissioner to India, for allegedly soliciting a cut from an Italian construction company, Fratelli Locci, and over money suspected to be proceeds of crime, allegations he denies.
“Mr Banda is alleged to have solicited a two per cent payment from an Italian construction company against payment received from the Road Development Agency on both current and future projects. The solicitation is alleged to have been by way of an agreement dated 22nd June 2011 signed by Mr Banda and Antonello Locci and witnessed by Mr Banda’s daughter Ketiwe Banda,”
joint government investigations team spokesperson Namukolo Kasumpa told journalists Wednesday.
“Out of the two per cent, Mr Banda actually received a sum of $31,894 (K171, 065,700) from Mr Antonelli Locci, managing director of Fratelli Locci SRI Limited.”
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.
Ms Kasumpa said Andrew further failed to account for the deposits made to his Stanbic Bank account, amounting to $67,542 (K360, 330, 000), money suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Mr Banda was later released on bond.
The Zambian Government is pursuing another of Mr Banda’s son, Henry, for unspecified corrupt allegations.
Henry currently lives in South Africa and has vowed not to return to his home country in the absence of unspecified charges.