Former Defence minister George Mpombo has taken up a job as deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria despite having on-going cases of theft and corruption in court.
Mpombo was appointed Zambia’s High Commissioner to Nigeria in November last year but could not take up the appointment as Nigeria questioned his credibility and suitability.
The taking up of the position of deputy High Commissioner is therefore a compromise. Mpombo is already in Nigeria and started working last week.
Mpombo is facing three counts of theft by public servant, forgery and uttering a false document in court. Particulars of count one are that Mpombo jointly and whilst working together with other known persons, being a public servant as Minister of Defence stole K18 million which came into his possession by virtue of his employment.
But sources from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP)’s office reveal that DPP Mutembo Nchito will soon enter a nolle prose cue (no prosecution) in favour of Mpombo. This means that the state will drop all the criminal charges against Mpombo so that he can continue representing Zambia in Nigeria.
President Michael Sata once said that he is allergic to corruption.
Two weeks ago, Sata said that people who say that his rhetoric against corruption is a sham should prove to him and show which questionable individuals he has appointed to public offices.
Apart from the cases above, Mpombo has a criminal record.
On August 6, 2010, a Ndola magistrate’s court convicted Mpombo on one count of issuing a cheque on an insufficiently funded account.
Mpombo thenof number five Katonde Farms, was convicted by Chief Resident Magistrate Kelvin Limbani.
Mpombo was charged with an offence of a dishonoured cheque, contrary to section 33 (1) of the national payment systems Act as read with the Bank of Zambia Act.
Particulars of the offence were that Mpombo on December 18, 2009 with intent to defraud, issued cheque number 00014 worth K10 million to Colwyn Limited of Ndola on an insufficiently funded account, at Standard Chartered Bank, account number 0100260696200 which rendered the cheque dishonoured.
Mpombo’s lawyer Bonaventure Mutale in mitigation asked magistrate Limbani to fine Mpombo instead of giving him a custodial sentence.
He was fined and escaped jail.