LAZ summons BOZ lawyer

A Bank of Zambia lawyer at the centre of a secret scheme to conceal the theft of billions of Kwacha from properties sequestrated by the defunct Task Force on Corruption is to appear before the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) on Friday.

The Lusaka High Court last month rejected an application by Nchito law firm for documents exposing the scheme to be withheld from court.

Bank of Zambia assistant secretary (Legal Services) Leonard Kalinde is to appear before the Legal Practitioners Committee in connection with attempts he made to conceal mismanagement of assets of the liquidated Access Financial Services (AFSL) and Access Leasing Limited (ALL), from which billions were alleged to have been stolen.

One of the directors Faustin Kabwe lodged a complaint to LAZ after an internal audit report by BoZ indicated that there was mismanagement of AFSL and ALL assets which BoZ wanted to cover up on recommendations of Dr Kalinde.

The report by the Internal Bank of Zambia auditors admits mismanagement of the assets at the two companies which bordered on theft and fraud.

Dr Kalinde recommended that the bank should not take disciplinary action against a Mr Marshall Mwansompelo who was appointed BoZ Liquidation manager from January 13,2003 when the central bank took possession of AFSL and ALL., a man behind the malfeasance.

Mr Mwansompelo was charged with a number of disciplinary offenses pursuant to the provisions of the disciplinary code and grievance procedure which included incompetence, sub-standard work output, inefficiency and gross negligence of duty.

Despite Mr  Mwansompelo being charged in February 2012, Dr Kalinde pointed out the possible ramifications of going ahead with the disciplinary proceedings against the liquidation manager.

In his affidavit in support of his action, Mr Kabwe says Dr Kalinde had argued that going ahead with disciplinary proceedings against Mr Mwansompelo would give the two directors of AFSL and ALL necessary information for a possible suit against BoZ which would result in colossal sums of money being paid to them (the directors).

Dr Kalinde also said to single out Mr Mwansompelo as the person responsible for the messy state of affairs and theft at AFSL and ALL would be a case of selective justice given the man’s place within the reporting hierarchy in BoZ.

The risk associated with charging Mr Mwansompelo  included the possibility of a lawsuit against the man, loss of credibility and reputation to the Bank of Zambia for mishandling the matter by charging Mr Mwansompelo alone leaving out his supervisors who may also be culpable.

According to LAZ summons dated March 13, Dr Kalinde has been ordered to report to  the Legal Practitioners Committee this Friday March 22, 2013 at 12.00hrs and so from the day to day until the matter was determined.