Stanbic Bank Zambia has hired former commerce minister Bob Sichinga to try and bribe ACC and DEC officials to stop investigating the bank and judges.
This is in the ongoing scandal where Stanbic bribed Court of Appeal and Supreme Court judges to set aside a High Court judgment that ordered Stanbic to compensate Savenda management K192 million for negligently and maliciously listing it as a bad debtor.
Meanwhile, the Watchdog has been informed that lawyer Eric Silwamba who is at the centre of bribing judges on behalf of his client Stanbic has now agreed with Chief Justice Irene Mambilima to harass the High Court Judge who found Stanbic guilty of negligently listing Savenda as a bad debtor.
The brief background is that, Savenda Management Services entered into a lease buy-back facility for a US$540,000 to buy a printing machine. It was agreed that Savenda would be making Monthly repayments by debit order from one of the company’s bank accounts. But, due to a faulty in the system of Stanbic Bank, Savenda’s instructions on the debit order were sent to the wrong account within Stanbic. Stanbic wrote to Savenda explaining the problem and saying it had been sorted out. But during this same period and amid this confusion, Stanbic decided to report Savenda to the Credit Reference bureau (CRB) as a bad debtor.
When the matter went to the High Court, judge Justin Chashi, ordered the bank to pay Savenda K192.5 million (R253.23m) for loss of business and vital contracts.
Stanbic then fired its hitherto lawyers and brought in Eric Silwamba who began the process of bribing judges upto the Supreme Court. But following the backlash of this bribery, Silwamba and chief Justice Mambilima now want to vent their anger on High Court Judge Chisha.
According to sources close to Silwamba, the two want to set up a tribunal to probe judge Chisha to establish how he awarded Savenda K192.5 million when, according to them, facts showed a different scenario. But the truth is that Silwamba just wants to divert the corruption attention form him and the judges he bribed to an innocent junior judge.
Silwamba believes that, once a tribunal is set up against judge Chisha, the attention will focus on that fake tribunal and no one will think of investigating the real culprits. And since the Chief Justice is working with him, he may easily achieve that.
Some concerned citizens including Bishop John Mambo have since reported this matter to the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). It’s not yet clear how far DEC and ACC have gone in investigations but Stanbic has already started doing what it knows best: bribing officers.
Charles Mudiwa, the former managing director of Stanbic who is now heading another branch in Nairobi has, with other officials in Zambia, hired his brother in marriage Bob Sichinga to try and compromise ACC and DEC officials.
Mudiwa and Silwamba are married into the same family.
When Stanbic was bribing bailiffs, Mudiwa was still the CEO of Stanbic and he personally handled the cash. But Bank sources say Mudiwa is having diarrhoea over this matter because apart from the crime of bribery itself, he ‘pocketed’ most of the money but claimed he used it on the ‘project’.
Source say Mudiwa and Stanbic in-house lawyer Doris Tembwe shared some of the money but only gave the bailiffs a little. Insiders say that during this process, Mudiwa and Tembwe even developed a sexual relationship as a way of cementing their money secret. We understand Tembwe was also generous to Silwamba.
Bank sources say Mudiwa has been phoning Zambia from the time the bribery scandal was exposed trying to see who leaking the information and what can be done to stop it.
Bob Sichinga for his part has been busy meeting ACC and DEC officials plus people pushing for the investigation of the Bank and judges offering them money to withdraw the case.
Sichinga was once minister of trade but is currently broke as he spent most of his salaries during his tenure as minister on small girls.