Information filtering through from the Government Joint Investigation Team (GJIT) indicates that so far investigators have failed to convince any of President Banda’s advisors to turn against the former head of state, most recently with respect to Dr. Martin Mtonga, who had headed up President Banda’s campaign center in the run up to the 2011 presidential elections.
A very highly placed source at the GJIT, also referred to as the Task Force, has told Zambia Reports that Dr. Mtonga last week appeared twice for questioning in connection with and what he knows about the source of campaign funds and materials used by Rupiah Banda.
According to the source, Dr. Mtonga is being assured that the GJIT is not after him, but seeking to build a case against the former head of state.
“We have instructions to extract whatever we can from him so that Rupiah Banda is heavily incriminated in money laundering activities”, said the source. “That is why it is very important and crucial that Dr. Mtonga tells us what he knows about the campaign funds and materials”, added the source.
So far Dr. Mtonga seems to be standing by the former head of state, and, according to the source, he is being very difficult in spite of the fact that he has appeared for questioning more than twenty times either at the GJIT headquarters in Lusaka’s Woodlands or at the Drug Enforcement Commission, DEC, headquarters in Ridgeway.
Dr. Mtonga’s position is said to frustrating the powers that be, as investigators have tried everything to try to get Dr. Mtonga turn against Mr. Banda.
“The other problem is that this man still appears to be very close the former head of state as we see him with Mr. Banda at court appearances and even at the DEC”, said the source.
Dr. Mtonga was head of Rupiah Banda’s campaign center based in Lusaka’s Woodlands and worked closely with the likes of Augustine Seyuba, who immediately accepted a job as Permanent Secretary in President Michael Sata’s Patriotic Front (PF) government. Seyuba was actually sworn-in on Tuesday November 1, 2011 and is still holds the permanent secretary position.
Supporters of former President Banda say that the government’s accusations against him are false, and that the prosecution is a politically motivated measure to remove him from a possible presidential bye-election should President Sata be unable to complete his term.