A state witness in the case in which former Transport Minister Dora Siliya is charged with abuse of office by cancelling a tender has admitted to withholding of information to investigators that led to the arrest of Ms. Siliya.
Mr. Isaac Mukupa in the continued trial told Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda that he did not tell investigators at the Taskforce that Ms. Siliya did not cancel the tender to install a new radar system at the Lusaka and Livingstone International Airport.
Mr. Mukupa who was head of procurement at the Ministry of Communication and Transport told the court during cross examination by defence lawyer Eric Silwamba that he could not tell investigators at the taskforce that Siliya did not cancel the tender because investigators did not ask the question and as such he could not volunteer information.
Meanwhile Mr. Mukupa also told the court that no one at the Ministry interacted with the bidders because everything was done by the then Zambia National Tender Board now Zambia Public Procurement Authority.
He said the only role his ministry played was to prepare the tender document, invite bidders, and communicate the results.
He said the Ministry could not handle the tendering because it was beyond its threshold as a result it was handled by the tender board.
Mr. Mukupa in his report to the taskforce which has been admitted as evidence in court said bidders interacted with tender board officials starting from site visits.
It was also revealed in court that Ms. Siliya had no role in recommending the single sourcing of a company to supply the radar as it was done by a committee of experts.
The documents availed in court indicate that government was under pressure to secure the radar in preparation the All Africa Games that the country intended to host considering the huge air traffic that was anticipated.
Mr. Mukupa said Ms. Siliya was not part of that committee that recommended single sourcing.
The committee comprised a Mr. John Chipuwa from the Ministry of transport, Mr. Robnson Misitala from National Airports Corporation, Mr. David Mzeka from Department of Civil Aviation, Mr. Happy Chishala from National Airports Corporation, Mr. Stanely Sitali also of National Airports Corporation, Mr. Alex Siayanje from Department of Civil Aviation and Mr. Fredrick Kabuku from the Ministry of Communication and Transport. Mr Mukupa agreed with the Defence that Ms. Siliya did not cancel the tender process.
Other documents shown in court are a letter From Finance Minister Dr. situmbeko Musokotwane opting for the route which Ms. Siliya took.
Others are correspondence between the then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication Mukuka Zimba and the then Secretary to the Treasury Evans Chibiliti about funding of radar acquisition way before Ms. Siliya was appointed Minister.
Trial resumes on Dec 18 and 19, 2012 and January 21,22,23 and 24, 2013.