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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

I’m not a crook, Mulli tells court

Business tycoon Leston Mulli of Mulli Brothers Limited has told the Financial Crimes Court and Attorney General Thabo Nyirenda that he is not a crook.

This is a case in which Attorney General Nyirenda dragged to court Mulli’s National Bus Services to over management of bus depots.

In a recent court appearance, National Bus Service chairperson Mulli gave documentary evidence from privatization commission on authority to run bus depots.

The documents, according to Mulli showed that National Bus Services was given a go-ahead to operate depots and workshops from government run Shire Bus Lines.

“I am not a crook. The bus depots were given to the company to run,” Mulli is quoted as saying.

Mulli further told the court that a meeting at ministry of finance granted National Bus Service to operate the bus depots and workshops, in addition to a letter issued by Public Private Partnerships Commission authorizing the same.

Attorney general contends that the acquisition of bus depots was done illegally.

“From the memorandum of understanding, there was nowhere saying that the depots be given to the company. This was pure theft,” Nyirenda is quoted as saying.

Nyirenda said the government wants to recover about K8 billion from National Bus Services Limited.

He also dismissed evidence from Mrs. Audrey Mwala, then chief executive officer for the Privatization Commission, whom he accused of having conflicted interests as her husband was working with the defendant.

Lawyer representing Mulli, John Kalampa, maintains that there was no illegality in operating the bus depots and workshops.

“There was no abuse of office because proper processes were followed. The Privatization Commission wrote National Bus Services advising them to enter on the land and it was government itself that told the company to proceed. Mulli never influenced any officer,” Kalampa is on record as saying.

Earlier court appearances indicated that National Bus Services set operating workshops and depots as one of the conditions for National Bus Service to acquire Shire Bus lines, a development which authorities considered.

This, according to the company was to cushion losses from operating in non-profit areas that led to liquidation of the former government-run bus company.

Meanwhile, the Financial crimes court which is hearing the case  has set aside February 5 and 7, next year to continue hearing the case.

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