“My stroke and subsequent poor heath are as a result of the trauma I suffered after the search that was conducted at my residence by state agents,” former Minister of Energy and Development in the MMD government Kenneth Konga has complained.
Mr Konga, who walked in the Magistrate Court with difficulties using a walking stick, said the Nigerian oil deal had been misunderstood by a lot of people stating that the MMD government genuinely wanted to get oil from Nigeria to resolve the fuel shortages that were threatening the progressive performance of the economy.
Mr Konga, a state witness in the continued trial of former President Rupiah Banda blamed the Patriotic Front (PF) government for the stroke he suffered soon after his residence was raided and searched by government agents on December 21st 2011.
He told Senior Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda that the whole oil issue had been misunderstood by most people stating that the country was in dire need of oil so that Zambians could benefit from competitive fuel prices.
He said during the search of his residence, one of the documents that the agents showed him claiming that it was among the many they had found was a letter President Banda is said to have written to late President of Nigeria Yar Adua.
Mr Konga testified that after President Banda and his Nigerian counterpart late Umaru Musa Yar Adua had discussed the prospects of Zambia getting oil from that country, he was tasked to commence formal communication with the Nigerian government.
“My Lord, the issue of fuel has been misunderstood by most people. It is very important for every economy in the world. There had been riots earlier in this country and we genuinely wanted to get fuel to resolve the challenge. I am like this because of the search that was conducted at my residence in December 2011. Very few people have experience and it was very traumatizing,” Mr Konga told Magistrate Banda.
Mr Konga explained in the court that as Minister in-charge of Energy and Water Development, he was assigned by President Banda to consummate the oil deal and that he had written a letter to the Nigerian Minister of Petroleum requesting for oil from that country.
“One of the items agents said they had found at my residence and asked me to sign for was a letter they said was written to President Banda to the Nigerian President Yar Adua,” Mr Konga said.
Mr Konga said it was Maj Kachingwe who had introduced him to Mr Akpan Ekpene, the Nigerian tycoon who had pledged that he was going to be the contact agent to facilitate the fast tracking of the implementation of the deal.
‘During the MMD convention of 2011 in Kabwe, Maj Kachingwe informed me that the he (Maj Kachingwe) had heard that the Zambian request for oil had been granted by the Nigerian government. I was thrilled and informed President Banda about it,’ Mr Konga told Magistrate Banda.
Magistrate Banda adjourned the case to October 22 2013 for continued trial.