Examination of Witness (Questions 534
TUESDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2001
Mr Bottomley: Chairman, can I just say
on the record that Mr Zaiwalla has had a home in my constituency.
534. Thank you. Welcome to the Committee, Mr Zaiwalla.
Will you introduce your colleague to us, please?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Certainly. She is Miss Shirley Chapman.
She is my personal assistant. I was going to bring my solicitor,
but he was busy, so I brought her along.
535. Of course. You can advise Mr Zaiwalla as
and when you think fit, and he can ask your advice, but you do
not address the Committee unless, of course, you are asked. Welcome
to the Committee again, Mr Zaiwalla. First of all, could you explain
your relationship with Mr Keith Vaz, how you knew him, how you
met him and various actions that you have taken?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Certainly. I must have met him the first
time some time after he became a Member of Parliament. I must
have met him at a public event when we got to know each other,
and since then we have known each other.
536. So you met him and then you continued to
meet each other up till when, up till now?
(Mr Zaiwalla) We continued to meet each other until
he became a Minister of the Crown. I do not think we met at all
after that, until at a reception which the British High Commissioner
in Delhi gave for Mr Vaz, which I attended.
537. What about the payments which you have
given to Mr Vaz in some form or another? Could you explain those
(Mr Zaiwalla) Yes, I could very well explain them
to you. All the payments which I have madeand they total
some £2,450 over a period of ten yearswere all made
for the purpose of sponsoring of some events or functions and
none of them were for his personal use.
538. But what sort of functions were being sponsored
by that money?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I will just give you an example. The
last two payments were made in 1998. My firm took a table at two
functions organised by the Asian Business Breakfast Network. We
took a table of ten, and it cost us £500. That same year
we took another table of ten for £500. I would take my firms
clients and my friends for those events. At one of those events
which I attended the Home Secretary, Mr Straw, was there.
539. How do you know if that money was used
for those events?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I would not know.
1 Note by witness: Cheques for these two functions
were made out to "The Kala Dinner". Back