Africa-Press – Zambia. Opposition Patriotic Front (PF) member and business tycoon Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba popularly known as GBM has charged that he is being politically persecuted for ditching the UPND prior to the 2021 General Elections.
GBM was last Tuesday arrested and detained over allegations of Conflict of Interest and possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime as a typical example of a vindictive fight against corruption. He resigned from the UPND in 2019 to rejoin the PF which was ruling at the time.
GBM appeared in court yesterday for counts he faces of being in possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime and conflict of interest involving millions of Kwachas and thousands of dollars respectively.
The former UPND Vice President has since been granted bail of K300, 000 by the Lusaka Magistrate Court. The joint investigations team charged GBM with 8 counts of Conflict of Interest and 19 counts of being in possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Speaking to journalists after being released from custody when he was granted bail, Mr. Mwamba said he was not shaken by the arrest and detention. The former Kasama Central Member of Parliament said he is used to being arrested.
“Ulya alencusha kapokola alikwi? (Where is that police officer who was mistreating me?) Bacepa sana.I feel nothing. Nothing has changed because I knew what was happening and what is still happening and nothing will change me. I will always be GBM. That one, no one will steal it away from me. 25 is the count, that is what they think in their heads but maybe it is one count mind you. At the end of the day, we have very good lawyers, I think they will be able to reduce the counts to probably even to zero. So that is not worrying me at all. They kept me like any other detainee. They kept me like a detainee but I am used to it,” he told reporters in Lusaka.
“I think this is not the first time as you all know that even through PF I went through the same, even with Hakainde Hichilema who is now the president I went through it with him. I have been detained several times so this is not strange to me. Who? Since when can I be shaken? Have you ever seen me shaken over these orchestrated detentions? I have never been shaken. I have never been shaken and no one will shake me. You know what it is, political persecution. They are talking about a case which happened when I was Minister of Defence and they have no facts that I interfered in the procurement of that contract. They have no defence whatsoever and I don’t happen to appear anywhere but you see it is because of what I did,” Mr. Mwamba said.
He promised to break his silence in order to start mobilizing his party PF. “Just because I resigned from UPND you see. Just because of my resignation, leaving UPND that is the problem that I have made. But I can tell you that I am still strong. In fact, I am getting stronger and stronger by the day. You see, I have been quiet for too long. I think this is about time I start mobilizing my party PF,” Mr. Mwamba said.