NATIONAL Democratic Congress party president Chishimba Kambwili has been sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour for forgery and uttering a false document.
Lusaka principal resident magistrate David Simusamba sentenced him to 12 months in the count of forgery and another 12 months for uttering a false document which sentences will run concurrently meaning Kambwili will only serve a year in prison.
Magistrate Simusamba, however, acquitted Kambwili on a charge of giving false information to a public officer.
The offences related to the registration of Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services.
Equity and Economic Party leader Chilufya Tayali was the complainant in the matter.
It was alleged that Kambwili on October 29, 2013, with intent to defraud or deceive, he forged a No Change Return (Companies Form 71) purporting to show that it was genuinely signed by Mwamba, his son when in fact not.
Count two alleges that Kambwili on the same day he forged the No Change Return form, he knowingly and fraudulently uttered it to an officer at Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA).
In the third count, he is accused of giving false information to a public officer.
Magistrate Simusamba in his judgment said the prosecution proved a case beyond reasonable doubt as regards count one and two of forgery and uttering a false document but that the prosecution failed to adduce sufficient evidence in the third count, resulting in an acquittal.
Magistrate Simusamba said it was a fact that Kambwili forged the No Change Return form by creating a fictitious name ‘Mwamba Chishimba’ and uttered the same document to the Patents and Companies Agency (PACRA).
He said the NRC number which was used on the registration forms for Mwamona was for Sampa Kambwili and that the accused assigned that NRC to his son in order to comply with registration procedures.
Magistrate Simusamba said he agreed with complainant, Equity and Economic Party president Chilufya Tayali and arresting officer Stanley Mumbula, that Mwamba Chishimba was a fictitious person used in the incorporation of the company.
The magistrate said he found as a fact that Kambwili forged Form 71 (No Change Return Form) which was the subject of the matter by purporting that he was signing on behalf of his son Chishimba Mwamba when in fact he did not sign in a representation form but on his own behalf, saying that was the reason why he was called a director of Mwamona Engineering and Technical Services.
He found Kambwili guilty and convicted him in count one and two but acquitted him in count three.
In mitigation, one of Kambwili’s lawyer Musa Mwenye, State Counsel, pleaded for maximum leniency, saying Kambwili is a diabetic patient who is dependent on a life support machine when sleeping.
He said the convict was also a family man who also heads a political party.
He asked the court to consider giving his client a suspended or non custodial sentence.
But magistrate Simusamba in passing sentence said he has considered that Kambwili was a first offender but also considered his conduct during the proceedings.
“I have come to a conclusion that he has no regard for institutions of of Justice given the way he conducted himself,” he said.
Magistrate Simusamba said he has tried many high profile people, including Nevers Mumba, who was in court for Kambwili’s judgment, but that none of them conducted themselves like the convict.
He said other high profile people always conducted themselves in a dignified manner and showed respect to the court.
Magistrate Simusamba said Kambwili deserved a punitive sentence to send as a warning to those who think they can disrespect the court.
He sentenced him 12 months in the count of forgery and 12 months in the uttering a false document count which sentences would run concurrently, meaning Kambwili will serve a year in prison with hard labour.
After the verdict, Kambwili thank magistrate Simusamba but the magistrate told him to thank himself.
Meanwhile, before magistrate Simusamba could adjourn the case after concluding judgment, Kambwili’s lead lawyer Musa Mwenye rose to make an application for bail, pending appeal.
But magistrate Simusamba described the conduct as unprecedented.
He wondered what time the defence lodged the appeal when he had just finished reading the judgment.
Mwenye then asked to see the magistrate in chambers.
Magistrate Simusamba has set Tuesday as date for hearing the bail application.