Former Zambia's State House spokesperson Amos Chanda and two others have appeared in court on suspicion of corruption.
Chanda appeared before Lusaka Magistrates Court on Thursday on six counts of corrupt practices and possession of property suspected to be proceeds of crime. He pleaded not guilty.
Mr Chanda resigned from his position as Edgar Lungu's special assistant for press and public relations, in June last year announcing that he was joining the “private sector.”
He is jointly charged with former Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) boss Zindaba Soko and businessman Walid el Nahas. Chanda and Soko denied any wrongdoing.
Nahas allegedly corruptly gave $10,000 to Mr Soko and $11,000 to Mr Chanda as an inducement to facilitate the awarding of a contract for Intelligent Mobility Solutions Limited by RTSA for the provision of advanced Road Safety Solutions and Services.
Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale explained the charges to the three, but could not take plea in counts one, two, three and five as the state was awaiting consent from the country’s top prosecutor.
Mwale also ordered the Drug Enforcement Commission to release Mr Nahas’s passport to enable him travel to Lebanon to seek medication.
Chanda was arrested late last year on corruption charges.
It is commonplace in Zambia for political figures to face prosecution on leaving the corridors of power.
Mr Chanda, a former news editor at the state owned Zambia Daily Mail, has largely remained quiet regarding the allegations.