The country’s former Defence Minister George Mpombo has been jailed for 60 days and also fined £515 for bouncing a cheque. Mpombo was jailed on Monday August 9th after bouncing the cheque that was meant to pay back Colwyn Limited based in Ndola, the headquarters of the Copperbelt. After resigning as Minister of Defence in President Rupiah Banda’s government in July ‘09, Mpombo got £1, 288 from the Ndola-based company through its chairman Terence Findlay, who is the former ruling Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Copperbelt provincial chairman.
The cheque was supposed to be cashed on December 18th and knowing that there would be no money in the Standard Chartered Bank account, the former Defence Minister decided to call Findlay not to go to the bank because there were insufficient funds at the bank. Findaly decided to report the matter to the police and Mpombo was arrested. However, Mpombo later settled the debt. Delivering judgement, Ndola chief resident magistrate Kelvin Limbani ruled that financial crimes needed to be deterred as they affected the economy, citing the just subsiding global financial crisis that paralysed financial systems all over the world.
Upon the death of President Mwanawasa in August last year, Mpombo claimed that the instruments of power were left with him. When President Banda came into power, Mpombo continued as Defence Minister until July last year. Mpombo has also been suspended for seven days starting August 6th from the National Assembly over an article in which he described Vice President George Kunda as Zambia’s most stupid Vice President.