Media Barred from Ex-Minister’s Residence Amidst High-Profile Corruption Proceedings

On February 1, reporters attending a scene visit at the former residence of Bowman Lusambo, the ex-Lusaka Province Minister, faced hurdles when individuals locked the gate, preventing their entry. Despite their efforts to negotiate with the gatekeepers, journalists were barred from gaining access, leading to their absence during a cross-examination session of a witness at the Chamba Valley premises. The reporters raised concerns about the motives behind the obstruction, speculating that a court application might have been filed to limit media coverage, although they remained doubtful.

The case involves Lusambo facing two counts of possessing property suspected to be proceeds of crime, with proceedings overseen by Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Davies Chibwili. During Tuesday’s hearing, witness Morgan Mwanza disclosed that Lusambo’s earnings from 2016 to 2021 totaled approximately K3.8 million.

In January 2022, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning received a warrant of access from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate Lusambo’s personal emoluments during his tenure as a minister. However, the warrant only covered personal emoluments and did not extend to other allowances received during his provincial ministerial service. Payments detailed by Mr. Bwalya from the Ministry included net salary, travel benefits, household loan, and settling-in allowance, totaling slightly over K3.8 million.

The case was adjourned for the scene visit, during which reporters were denied entry, complicating the ongoing legal proceedings further.

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