Mumba opened private account – Witness

A State witness in Nevers Mumba’s abuse of authority of office case yesterday admitted that  the account which the former envoy opened in Canada which had a sum of 122.229 Canadian dollars sourced from Barrick Gold Mines for the Zambia Canada Cultural  Exchange was private.

Mr Joel Manyonga, an auditor in the office of the Auditor-General, however said the money belonged to the Zambian government because it was sourced by a person employed by the Zambian Government using a government’s headed paper.

He said this under cross examination by Dr Mumba’s defence lawyer Makebi Zulu.

Mr Manyonga said Dr Mumba did not seek authority to open an account and that there was lack of preparation and reconciliations of bank statements.

In the last sitting of the court, Mr Manyonga had told the court that he over stepped his mandate by auditing a private account which was opened by Dr. Mumba  for funds he sourced from Barrick Gold Mines in his private capacity.

But Mr Zulu asked Mr Manyonga to confirm whether the purpose of the account was illegal to which he answered in the negative.

Mr Manyonga  however said there were some illegal transactions as some monies were not accounted for.

He said according to the findings of the forensic audit, the auditors were able to establish from bank statements that a sum of 30,000 Canadian dollars was unaccounted for because it lacked supporting documents in the form of payment vouchers and receipts.

Mr Manyonga added that there also a wasteful of expenditures as Mumba also allegedly involved his wife in the project.

The defence asked Mr Manyonga whether he had inquired from Mumba to explain the bank transactions so that he could carry a detailed and a comprehensive report before making conclusions that the funds were misused to which he responded in the negative.

Mr Manyonga said he did not investigate further and did not verify what he was told about the misused funds.

And Mr Zulu asked Mr Manyonga to clarify what he meant in the report when he stated that there was also a wasteful of funds when Mumba paid 12,000 Canadian Dollars to the event planner Carolina Rodrigas and also for the hiring of the musical instruments for the Amayenge’s Cultural Ensemble’s performance at the event.

Mr Manyonga said if Mumba’s spouse Florence Mumba was involved in the project and was doing the expenditures, it was wasteful of money to pay the event planner.

He said it was not part of his mandate in Canada to start investigations the musical instruments which were used by the cultural group at the event.

Mr Manyonga also confirmed that he was aware that Barrick Gold Mine sponsored the cultural group throughout the event in Canada.

This is when Mr Manyonga was asked the reason why he earlier alleged that the money which was used by the High Commission to sponsor the Amayenge Cultural ensemble belonged to the Zambian government when the group was funded by Barrick Gold Mine.

Mr Manyonga said according to investigation, Mumba received 122,229 Canadian dollars in two instalments.

He said the first installment of 41,500 Canadian dollars was received in August 2011 while the second installment of 80,759 Canadian dollars was received in September.

In this case, Mumba is accused of failing to comply with laid down procedures in the handling of over 122,000 Canadian Dollars, a donation to the Zambian government by a private company.