The Zambian Anti-Corruption drive has netted a recently fired high court judge on bribery allegations.
Justice Joshua Banda was arrested and charged with two counts of corrupt transaction. He was later released on bail and was scheduled to appear in court soon. Banda was also charged with one count of conspiracy to defeat justice.
Allegations against Banda are that he solicited R139 000 from David Mwanza, an undersheriff and received R67 000. The money was a sweetener for Banda to corruptly influence a tribunal in a case involving a leading copper mine.
The Judicial Complaints Commission Tribunal found Banda guilty of malpractice a fortnight ago and handed their findings to President Hakainde Hichilema who immediately removed Banda from the Bench.
A report by GAN Integrity, a US think tank, said bribes and payments in return for favourable judicial decisions were common in Zambia and a third of Zambians believed that most, if not all, judges were corrupt.
When President Hichilema came into power last September, he vowed to strengthen the country’s anti-corruption crusade.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy on corruption in all its forms. There will be no sacred cows in the fight. We will increase the benefits of being honest and the cost of being corrupt,” he said during his inauguration speech.
Since then, hotels and helicopters were among a string of seized assets believed to have been acquired corruptly.
The assets mostly belonged to former ministers in ex-president Edgar Lungu’s cabinet including Minister of the Interior, Stephen Kampyongo, former foreign minister Joseph Malanji, and Given Lubinda, a former justice minister.