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FORMER First Lady, Thandiwe Banda and an Irish, Robert Ashley Penny, have been summoned to appear before investigators in connection with luxurious villas in Lusaka and a bank account holding about K5 billion (US$1 million).
Mrs Banda and Robert Ashley Penny are expected to appear before the investigating team on February 3, 2012 in connection with the villas believed to be owned by Mpundu Trust Limited.
The villas and the bank account have since been placed under a restriction order.
This entails that directors and owners of the property would be denied access to the business during the course of investigations.
The bank account is maintained at one of the commercial banks in Lusaka which has been the subject of wide speculation since investigative wings commenced their investigations into the case of Mpundu Trust Limited.
Investigations spokesperson, Munganga Chanda, announced the development in a media release in Lusaka yesterday.
“A restriction order was this morning served on former first lady Thandiwe Chilonga Banda and Robert Ashley Penny, who are the directors of Mpundu Tust Limited,” Ms Chanda said.
Mrs Banda has been asked to appear before a combined team of security officers in relation to abuse of authority and money laundering over sub-division A number 29 on Leopards Hill Road in Lusaka’s Woodlands area.
“A call out has been served on the former first lady Thandiwe Chilonga Banda to appear before the former offices of the task force on corruption on February 3, 2012. She is expected to appear at 14:30 hours to help with investigations into the same matter,” Ms Chanda said.
President Michael Sata recently instructed law enforcement agencies to probe the $1 million held in the Mpundu Trust account.
President Sata’s directive came in the wake of revelations that Mpundu Trust had unexplained funds in one of the commercial banks in the country.
Mr Sata said the decision to probe Mpundu Trust was without malice or ill-motive but to simply set the record straight by ensuring the due process of the law was followed.
He said considering the colossal amounts involved in the bank transaction, he strongly believed that it was only prudent for the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and other law enforcement agencies to investigate the matter.